Thursday, 24 June 2010
THE WADDEN SEA
I have now been in Germany for two days and have completed 3,067 miles in total. To reach Harwich, the end of my journey, I still have 660 miles to cycle. My target date was set by Devon Wildlife Trust as 70 days, so this is 3 July 2010. Much of the last three days has been spent cycling alongside the Wadden Sea. As one of my aims is to highlight the importance of wildlife, I must tell you a little about the Sea, especially as man has created so much here. It is one of the World's most important wet areas, yet it has been shaped in many ways by man. Here are some pictures that tell a story.
More than 100,000 breeding pairs of coastal birds can be counted every year. There are 10 -12 million migratory birds who stop here on their flights to their breeding and overwintering grounds. Worms, snails and mussels exist in astronomic numbers, believed to be up to 100,000 per square metre. Yet it is shaped by man. The dykes are on the landward side. There are water farmers who have built fields in the sea. The walls are sometimes made from stone but more frequently from wood. The pictures show the shapes and cultivation of the fields, a boat being loaded with wood for fence maintenance and a water borne digger. When cycling, all I hear and see are birds in large numbers. Sometimes the birds have fun with me. I had a whole swarm of swallows diving in front of my bike, often within 5 metres. It was their game. Oystercatchers would test their bravery by seeing how close I would come before they fly off. They sit on my path and again, it is very close.