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The Dune of Pilat in France is the highest sand dune in Europe. The westerly Atlantic winds have shaped Pilat, eroding sand from the seaward side and depositing it on the landward side of the dune. This action has caused the dune to slowly migrate away from the coast, engulfing the trees of an inland pine forest. Across the bay, the spit of Cap Ferret is also moving. In 1738 the spit was artificially stabilised with palisades and marram grass after it threatened to destroy nearby ports and villages.

Classroom Ideas

This clip could be useful for helping students to understand how the weather and waves affect and create dunes. Students could consider what happens to dunes during stormy weather and when the waves are much higher. A diagram explaining their gradual movement back 'inland' would also be a good learning exercise.

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