Durham Coast

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Durham Coast
Blackhall Rocks - geograph.org.uk - 60324.jpg
Blackhall Rocks on the Durham coast
County Durham,
Tyne and Wear, North East, England
Area765.41 ha (1,891.4 acres)
Governing bodyNatural England
WebsiteMap of site

The Durham Coast is a Site of Special Scientific Interest in County Durham, England. Starting just south of Crimdon Dene, north of Hartlepool, it extends, with a few interruptions, northward to the mouth of the River Tyne at South Shields.

The area included in the SSSI includes six Geological Conservation Review sites, including Marsden Bay, a classic study area for coastal geomorphology since the 1950s.[1]

The SSSI is important both for its flora and fauna. It includes most of the paramaritime Magnesian Limestone vegetation found in Britain, a vegetation type that is unique to the Durham coast and that differs markedly from the grassland developed on similar strata elsewhere in lowland Durham.[1]

The Durham coast also supports a variety of birds, including nationally important populations of sanderling, wintering purple sandpiper and breeding little tern. There is also a rich variety of invertebrates, including colonies of the Durham Argus butterfly, Aricia artaxerxes salmacis, and the least minor moth, Photedes captiuncula.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "Durham Coast" (PDF). English Nature. 1999. Retrieved 20 July 2010.