The coastal landscape of Cornwall, England


Coastal cliffs are the rocky land edges that face the sea. These are complex and diverse habitats that lie above the water line, where exposure to salty spray, wind, sun and rain all play their part, as does the type of rock. Flowers such as thrift, campion and samphires thrive here and colourful lichens coat the rocks. Clifftops make important nesting places for seabirds and each species has its own requirements: from precarious ledges for guillemots and kittiwakes to grassy slopes that puffins can burrow in. Sheer numbers of birds make a cacophony of noise and their nesting sites can smell pretty potent. Bats, lizards and buzzing insects are also to be found.

See a summer’s seabird ‘city’ spectacular.

Watch video clips from past programmes (11 clips)

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What lives here?







Where you find Coastal

Map showing the location of the Coastal habitat


Ecozones where this habitat is found


Other Terrestrial habitats

BBC News about Coastal

Video collections

Take a trip through the natural world with our themed collections of video clips from the natural history archive.

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