The Natural World...

Belted Beauty Moth...



Plants & Animals...

Sunderland Point is little more than a mile long and half a mile wide. Within this small area is a diversity of natural habitat: sea and beach on the West Shore; tidal sea and fresh water on the East Shore; inter-tidal salt marsh; mud flats; meadow; hedgerow; and the lanes, roads and buildings of the residents.

Sunderland Point is one of only two places in England that is home to the Belted Beauty Moth.
The Belted Beauty moth has a colony on the upper part of the West shore salt marsh. While, both male and females have wings, the wings on the female are so small that she looks more like a hairy woodlouse. The adult moths can be seen in late March and April and the caterpillars from late June.
Visitors to the Point may see the small mammals who live here: bats, mice, shrews, stoats, weasels
which share meadows, gardens and hedgerows with the residents; and the large ones who visit from
nearby: fox, hare - and very rarely a deer will swim the river and stay for a brief time.
The water brings visiting seals and occasional dolphins or porpoises. At the right time, it is possible to see salmon jumping, swarms of jellyfish or the magical display of phosphorescence. Tide lines can be thick with the discarded shells of crabs as they change old shells for new, larger protection.
The varied habitats of Sunderland Point are home to a wide diversity of plant and animal life.
- the silt and mud flats of the estuary are home to pioneering species of samphire and spartina
- the salt marshes see a succession of change throughout the Spring and Summer: the white flowers of scurvy grass in April & May; Sea Pinks (or Thrift) in May & June; Purple
  Sea Lavender and Sea Aster in July & August
- the beaches home to white sea campion, sea holly, strawberry clover, horned poppy and yellow/orange/red Bird’s foot Trefoil.
- cows regularly feed on the salt marsh - and occasionally block the way
- while the horse riding stable nearby brings its riders to the Point
Tide tables should be consulted before visiting. Both the
Causeway and car park are likely to be under several feet of water for 1 to 2 hours before and after high tide.
The Belted Beauty Moth
A mass of Knots and Oyster Catchers taking flight
Marsh cows finding fresh drinking water in the boats
Working... Please wait