Berwick-upon-Tweed Coast IPA

Location: Coast to the north of Berwick-on-Tweed, Northumberland.

Grid Reference: NU 007 531

Berwick-upon-Tweed Coast IPA has been recognised as one of 165 Important Plant Areas in the UK.

The key features of this IPA are:
• The species richness of marine algae on Littoral rock and other hard substrates; and sublittoral sediment

Caves are formed when weak spots in cliffs are eroded by the sea creating tunnels and caverns. They vary in size from a few metres across to extensive systems. Intertidal and submerged sea caves can be found in the sandstone cliffs to the north of Berwick and provide a home to an incredible diversity of marine life, including a rich population of marine algae. The area has many algal ‘diversity hotspots’ and includes nationally rare species.

Plants you could see

As the conditions within the caves gradually change from light and exposed near the mouth, to dark and sheltered further inside a zonation of marine life forms. In caves occurring on the lower shore often the red encrusting algae, Audouinella spp., can occur in dense red mats near the entrance. Further into the cave, other shade tolerant red and green algae may grow, and brown algae grow near the entrances of upper shore caves that are sheltered from wave action.