Parnidis dune

By climbing onto Parnidis dune which is in the south of Nida, one may visit the white dunes habitat. This is the only place in the Kuršių Nerija National Park where drifting dunes still remain. To the south, Parnidis dune opens the scenery of shifting dunes in Grobšto Nature Reserve, and if the visibility is good one can see the sands of the Russian Federation. Scientists estimate that due to the prevailing western winds traveling dunes moves from 0.5 to 10 m eastwards every year. Sand is light and friable rock, which is easily carried long distances by the wind. Dunes move by carrying sand grains from the windward slope of the dune to its other side. Grains of sand travel along small sand tranches, called wind ripples, until they are stopped by plants. In the areas which are not visited by people the dune surface resemble seabed. These shifting dunes are called white dunes due to their light shade which is the result of the high quartz percentage in them – from 85 to 99 percent.
Large grasses, such as European beach grass, sea lyme-grass and bush grass cover moving sand areas. Due to their strong rhizomes these plants are able to grow in volatile coastal sand, and also trap it; their leaves dispel wind gusts. Therefore, these grasses provide shelter to more delicate plants, such as the leafy hawkweed, goat’s-beard, Baltic toad-flax, and beach pea.
Protection of highly sensitive and vulnerable white dune habitat requires regulation of visitors flow, therefore the access of specific areas is strictly prohibited. We kindly remind you that it is forbidden to climb up and down the eastern slopes of Parnidis dune.

Photo Rytis Šeškaitis