Viking Bay

Viking Bay : A Natural History

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Apart from being one of the best bays in Thanet, Viking Bay in Broadstairs, Kent provides a wide variety of sea shore habitats. The central beach is fine sand, possibly originating from the Goodwin Sands off Ramsgate which needs to be preserved. Looking out to sea from the promenade. One can see to the left near the harbour are scattered rocks of flint often close to the harbour walls. The ridged harbour wall forms a habitat for weeds and shell fish. To the right surrounding a raised paddling pool and extending outwards into the sea is a platform of chalk. Natural pools are found in this chalk which can be wide and shallow or narrow and deep. These form gulleys through which the water from the paddling pool runs back into the sea. Pools and gulleys provide microhabitats allowing animals and plants to isolate themselves away from full exposure if they were on the rock surface. Behind the beach, above the beach huts are exposed chalk cliffs which are colonized by several maritime plants. Each inch of the chalk cliff is said to represent 2,500 years, so walking up the steps from the beach one is passing through a vast period of geological history. This booklet forms a quick guide to many of the more common animals and plants that can be found in the bay. The amount and kinds of sea shore life present will vary throughout the season, from day to day, from tide to tide and year to year but whatever the time of year one cannot fail to find something new and interesting.
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