Foulney Nature Reserve

Oyster catchers by Tony RichardsFoulney Nature Reserve is an island in Morecambe Bay but is connected to the mainland by a man-made causeway. It becomes a true island in cases of very high tides. The long narrow piece of land is made up of glacial pebbles. Saltmarsh has grown along the stone causeway. Because of this, sea lavender, sea purslane, cord-grass, and fleshy glasswort (samphire) have found a home here.Sea Campion spring flowers by Charles Winpenny

Other island plants that like the pebbly habitat are seal kale, sea campion, herb robert, and yellow-horned poppy. Grassland grows in the center of the island and accommodates harebells, lady's bedstraw, and bird's foot trefoil.

Harebell flowers by Graeme DougalFoulney is mainly important as a site for breeding terns-common and little, sandwich, and arctic-in the summer months. Other breeding birds include oystercatcher, eider duck, and ringed plover. In the coastal grassland are meadow pipit and skylark.

Winter finds the breeders and young birds leaving the area on the arrival of the wading birds, ducks, and geese making the trip south. This is the time to spot thousands of curlew, knot, oystercatcher, and dunlin. Brent geese, great-crested grebe, red-breasted merganser, cormorant, and common scoter all spend the winter here.Eiderduck by Charles Winpenny

Voles, shrews, stoats, and weasels live in the grassland at the far end of the island.
In the summer there are butterflies: the large white, small white, small copper, red admiral, and meadow brown.

Foulney Nature Reserve is located near Barrow in Furness (A5087) - and Roa island. Take the road from Rampside toward Roa island. There is a car park ¼ of the way across the causeway. A path leads from here to Foulney. Keep to paths during breeding season. The reserve is managed by the Cumbria Wildlife Trust.Small Copper by Charles Winpenny

Photos courtesy of Tony Richards,Charles Winpenny and Graeme Dougal

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