Holy Island (Lindisfarne), Northumberland

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In the summer of 2005 we returned to a favourite location, Holy Island (Lindisfarne), but this time to collect thyme for the Creeping Thyme DNA Study, with permits from English Nature and from the local landowners.  We found thyme growing in two sites on the north of the island, on the Castle mound in the south east of the island and at the Heugh in the south west.  The growing conditions at the various sites range from rabbit grazed grass near the lime kilns above Coves Bay in the north, the sand and stones of the Links, also above Coves Bay, to the short grass and rocks of the Castle Mound and the Heugh.

The Links

The area above Coves Bay on the north of Holy Island is comprised of sand dunes and a flat area with bare sandy soil and stones, or rabbit grazed grass with eroded margins.  There are numerous colonies of thyme, growing both in the grass and in the sandy soil.

To see an enlarged version of a picture click on the relevant picture.

The Links above Coves Bay.  Flat area
of bare sandy soil and stones, with
numerous colonies of thyme.

The Links above Coves Bay.  Rabbit grazed
grass, with eroded margins and colonies of
thyme, both in the grass and the soil.

Thyme growing in sandy stony soil.  
(Detail of above)

Large clump of thyme about 2 feet diameter 
and small grasses, growing in very sandy
stony soil.

There is more thyme growing near the
disused lime kiln, to the west of the Links.


Path leading to the disused lime kiln. 
Rabbit grazed grass on sandy soil. 
Soil erosion around old rabbit digging
areas.  Numerous clumps of thyme in 
grass and on eroded edges of soil.

Detail of central area of site.

Photographs © 2005,  Margaret Easter.  No copying or reproduction permitted.


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