Berwick-upon-Tweed Coast IPA
Location: Coast to the north of Berwick-on-Tweed, Northumberland.
Grid Reference: NU 007 531
The Berwick-Upon-Tweed Coast IPA extends northwards above the town from Bucket Rocks to above Sharper’s Head.The shoreline consists of sandy bays separated by rocky headlands with wave cut platforms.The area is included within the Northumberland Shore Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) which is of international importance for wading birds such as the purple sandpiper, golden plover and ringed plover.
The site has a long history for studying algae and contains many algal ‘diversity hotspots’ including nationally rare species.Underlying this diversity is a habitat created by the wave action of the sea. Erosion of weak spots in the sandstone cliffs has formed numerous tunnels and caves where conditions change from light and exposed to dark and sheltered deeper within.A diverse zonation of marine life has formed including a rich marine algae population.
On the lower shore, often dense mats of red encrusting algae occur near the cave entrances while further inside shade tolerant red and green algal species may grow.The upper shore caves mouths are more sheltered from wave action and brown algae can be found.