Vegetated Sea Cliffs

Vegetated sea cliffs are steep slopes fringing hard or soft coasts, created by past or present marine erosion, and supporting a wide diversity of vegetation types with variable maritime influence.


Flamborough is an east coast representative of hard chalk cliffs, which occur more frequently on the south coast of England. The vegetation of east coast cliff sites is typically less influenced by salt deposition and there are few such areas with predominantly limestone vegetation. Flamborough Head is an exception and is therefore important for the conservation of calcareous cliff vegetation. Maritime vegetation is local and occurs where topography increases salt spray deposition. Elsewhere the chalk substrate supports calcareous grassland communities. Towards the eastern end of the site the chalk is masked by drift deposits, which support mesotrophic and acidic grassland communities.