Salt Marsh

Red Glasswort
Red Glasswort

Saltmarsh forms a lush silvery green sward and is interspersed with winding creeks. The type of vegetation that grows here depends on how high the land is above sea level, and how often it is covered by the sea. Glasswort is the first plant to colonise lower down the habitat, whilst higher up are found plants such as sea aster and sea purslane. All these plants are very salt tolerant (they are known as 'halophytes') and are adapted in some way to retain fresh water e.g. sea aster has fleshy leaves, whilst others may have hairy or waxy leaves.

Glasswort
Glasswort

Saltmarsh has a very high conservation value for the communities it supports. It is rich in invertebrates and is especially good for birds. It provides a high tide roost for waders which feed on adjacent areas of exposed mud, ducks and geese graze on the vegetation and passerines (passing birds) feed on the seeds. It also provdes a nesting habitat for waders, gulls and terns.

Salt Marsh - more information

Seven Sisters Country Park
Sea Aster - photo by Barry Yates