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Polruan to Looe Cliffs

South West England

Polperro cliffs, part of the Polruan to Looe Cliffs IPA © Rob Hawkes under a Creative Commons ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license

Location: Between Polruan, on the eastern side of the Fowey estuary and Portnadler Bay, west of Looe. The South West Coast Path follows this area of coast. Polruan can be reached by ferry from Fowey.

Grid Reference: SX 198 503

This coastal area, comprising Lower Devonian mudrocks and sandstones, is important as it supports both the flowers associated with rock crevices but also those found on rocky shores.

It is a habitat of the internationally threatened shore dock and the nationally endangered sea knotgrass.

Plants you may see when visiting the IPA

Ray’s knotgrass , sea kale, sea spurge, sea sandwort, sand couch and sea bindweed, can all be found in profusion along the coastline, while shore dock is mostly found at the lower cliffs and back shore areas. The rare lanceolate spleenwort, as well as wild privet, madder and salad burnet may be found in the cliffs and associated crevices. The cliff faces support thrift, English stonecrop, wild carrot and sea campion. Western gorse, heather and bell heather abound near the cliff tops. Close to the coastal path, particularly on mown strips, there are a wide variety of grasses as well as the common cat’s-ear, the common bird-s foot trefoil, common milkwort, common knapweed, common restharrow; the rare slender and hairy bird’s foot trefoils have also been recorded at this IPA.


View map of the IPA

Further information

For additional scientific information on why the Polruan to Looe Cliffs coastline has been identified as an IPA, including details of existing protection, landuse and threats to the site please click here.