Google Earth satellite image of Aberlady Sands
Note the berms and troughs on the beach which extend to the low water mark, the curved tips of the small spits at the end of the beach indicating longshore drift from the east (top), the dune systems behind the beach and the ponds within the dune sack area just north of Gullane Golf Course.
The rich shell sands of the spits
Aberlady Sands viewed from the east at Jophies Neuk
Aberlady Bay Local Nature Reserve is an important breeding site for ground-nesting birds. Visitors between late March and late June should keep to the paths. No dogs are allowed.
Aberlady: beach and spits
Significance: a dynamic beach system with spit and dune formation
The long, broad beach of Aberlady Sands fronts extensive areas of dunes. The beach increases in width westwards towards the growing spits on the edge of Aberlady Bay.
The beach slopes gently to the low water mark. A series of low berms run parallel to the waterline, with a higher berm at the rear of the beach northeast of the sewage outfall pipe. Wave- and wind-transported sand is banked against the dune toe at the back of the beach and generally protects the dune face from erosion. After major storms, however, the waves reach the dune foot and strip away sand to feed longshore drift and so ultimately extend the spits at the end of the beach.