Conservation management of the Durham sea cliff flora

D. N. Mitchell, A. W. Davison, J. A. Cooke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ever since the publication of the earliest accounts of the species and communities on the Durham Magnesian Limestone sea cliffs concern has been expressed about their vulnerability and continued existence. Major threats include recreational developments, lack of management, scrub and tall-herb encroachment, deliberate fires, fertilizer runoff and excessive cliff erosion. With these in mind, practical conservation initiatives for the Durham sea cliff flora are discussed, including gap creation and species monitoring, translocation and control on the steep cliff slopes and grazing, hay making, controlled burning, scrub control and habitat creation on the cliff tops. It is likely that many of the options described and references cited will be of interest to conservationists concerned with the management and creation of similar vegetation types elsewhere. Integration of these conservation management techniques with the future erosion of colliery wastes on the beaches and sympathetic agricultural land use on the cliff tops through a long-term managed retreat programme will be fundamental in alleviating the symptoms of coastal squeeze and to the sustained survival of important species and communities into the next millennium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-184
Number of pages16
JournalTransactions - Natural History Society of Northumbria
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)


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