One of the main reasons that the Brent geese make their annual migration to our shores is the eelgrass beds found in Exmouth and Dawlish Warren. Eelgrass is a nutritious sea grass that provides energy to birds, refuge to other marine life such and seahorses and is a fantastic Co2 store. It also acts as a coastal buffer reducing the impacts of waves on coastal regions.
Here are some of the other ecosystem services eelgrass provides;
- Improving water quality
- Sequestering carbon
- Providing habitat for marine species
- Just one hectare of seagrass can produce 100,000 litres of oxygen daily
- Absorbs 35% more carbon than an equal area of rainforest
- More than 30x more animals live in seagrass compared to adjacent sandy habitats
- There are 4 species of sea grass in the UK. Two tasselweeds and two zostera ( eelgrass)
- Up to 92% of the UK’s seagrass has been lost in the last century
We are so lucky to have an expanding eelgrass bed on the Exe estuary. It’s underground root system allows the plant to regrow once its leaves have been consumed by hungry birds.