Friday, September 22, 2006
The sand dunes at Braunton Burrows and Northam Burrows in North Devon are designated as an international Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO's Man in the Biosphere Program. This designation of the 3,120 hectares of Braunton Burrows as the first site in the UK to be made a biosphere reserve means that the site is recognized alongside Mount Vesuvius in Italy and the Danube Delta in eastern Europe as natural wonders.
Braunton Burrows is the largest sand dune system in the United Kingdom. It hosts an extraordinarily diverse plant community, with over 400 recorded species of vascular plants. This in turn means that there are also a great variety of associated invertebrate species.
The Burrows, located in the north of Devonshire (in the south-west of England) was one of Britain's original biosphere reserves, and has been expanded to include Northam Burrows, the Taw-Torridge estuary and Braunton Marshes.
The Braunton site is among 18 just designated biosphere reserves in 12 different countries.
Visit the UNESCO Man in the Biosphere (MAB) Biosphere Reserves website.
Check out the complete list of 47 MAB designated Biosphere Resterves in the United States. Each place name in the list links to a website devoted to the Reserve.
Check out the interactive map of all the MAB designated Biosphere Reserves in the World.
A Personal Note: My mother's maiden name was a Braunton, and her family comes from North Devon, probably originally from Braunton Village. I still have relatives living there. Mom no doubt walked these beaches as a child. JAD