The Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve, managed by Natural England, encompasses sand dunes, dune slacks, coastal saltmarsh and tidal mudflats situated on The Holy Island of Lindisfarne, off the northeast coast of Northumberland, approximately 9 miles south of Berwick upon Tweed.
Apart from a narrow band of dunes extending to the east, joining the main part of Holy Island, the dunes on The Snook are almost entirely surrounded by sea and comprise a thin cover of blown sand and raised beach material draped over limestones and coal measures bedrock.
The Lindisfarne dune slack ponds are classic examples of temporary ponds with a limited geographical distribution. Although they have rarely been considered by freshwater biologists as habitats at all, there is growing recognition of their importance for freshwater wildlife and they are good example of how natural processes create ponds.
The ponds on The Snook are classed as habitats of high conservation importance and are examples of the EU Habitats Directive Annex 1 feature 3110, ‘Oligotrophic waters with very few mineral nutrients of sandy plains – Littorelletalia uniflorae’, i.e. nutrient-poor waters with Shoreweed vegetation.
Species of note include the very rare orchid, Lindisfarne Helleborine Epipactis sancta, which is endemic to Lindisfarne and Dytiscus circumflexus, a great diving beetle. Formerly confined to coastal districts in the south and east of England, but now spreading north, specimens found in the ponds on The Snook represent the first record for the biological recording Vice-county of North Northumberland and the most northerly to date for Great Britain.
Accessibility: Some Flagship Pond sites are accessible to the public, and some are not. If in doubt, consult maps for rights of way, look online for site information, or contact the site manager, and follow any instructions on site. It is up to you to check whether you require permission to visit and access the ponds on a site.
Site owners/managers: Natural England