This time of year is best for spotting tiny Scots pine saplings around the Snook where, if left to grow unchecked, the sand dune habitat would slowly change to become dominated by Scots pine and scrub such as hawthorn. The rest of the dune vegetation is rank and dark brown in colour, making it easy to spot the bright green saplings, which are hand-pulled to ensure root removal.
The 'Mothership' tree, with tiny saplings to the left
It is very important to keep the existing cover provided by Scots pine and scrub among the dunes for small birds passing through, using Lindisfarne as a valuable stop-off on migration. This is why the Reserve team only remove new regeneration and not the established tree cover.