Durham Coast Site of Special Scientific Interest (GB)
Durham Coast, United Kingdom
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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.
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.
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.
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