Its breathtaking display of wild flowers and abundant insects and birds help to make St Cyrus National Nature Reserve (NNR) one of Britain’s richest and most diverse reserves.
Winter storms crash over the dunes, salty sea spray soaks into every crevice and North Sea winds lift and scatter debris and sand. Yet a wealth of specialist plants and animals have adapted to living in these harsh conditions.
More than 300 types of plant occur within St Cyrus NNR, though only the most hardy cling onto the cliffs or take root in the dunes. Wild flowers such as the clustered bellflower thrive in the warmth of the sheltered grassland. Over 400 butterfly and moth species have been known to flit among them to feed.
All four of Scotland’s grasshopper species occur on St Cyrus NNR and the common lizard is often seen basking in the dunes.
On calm days, look out to sea for dolphins and porpoises fishing along the coastline.
You can get more details about visiting St Cyrus NNR in our leaflet, including why dogs must be kept on the lead at all times.