The best of the Sussex coast

, 13 August 2017
The best of the Sussex coast
Sanderling (c) Nigel Symington

By Sarah Ward

Living Seas Officer

Here in Sussex, not only are we lucky enough to have a huge stretch of coastline on our doorstep, we also have huge variety in the types of habitats and associated species which make up our coast. For the final day of this year’s National Marine Week we’ve compiled a list of some of the best places to visit in Sussex in the hope of inspiring you to get out and enjoy our wonderful marine environment.

The Pound, Eastbourne: Great for rockpooling

The top of this beach is shingle but if you plan to come for the low tide you’ll find a large expanse of rocky shore which is revealed as the tide goes out. The area is a complex of pools, channels and gullies with countless cracks and crevices to explore.

Access to this beach is via the South Downs Way from Dukes Drive. There is a tea room and public toilets available.

To download our guide to rockpooling click here.

West Wittering Beach & East Head: Best for sand dunes

This area is considered to be one of the best coastal spots in Sussex. East Head is a fantastic example of sand dune habitat, which is nationally rare. The sand dunes are a dynamic and vulnerable habitat, so wooden paths have been added to allow access but to protect them from damage. Trails around the sand dune and along the beach make for a fantastic and interesting walk at any time of year!

Rye Harbour Beach: Best for bird watching

The beach at Rye Harbour is a fantastic stretch of coastline, which features vegetated shingle and an expanse of sand at low tide. The shingle is an important breeding ground for terns, which also use the coastal waters to forage for small fish. Other coastal birds you might spot here this summer include various gulls, turnstones, oystercatchers and cormorants. Click here for more information.

Worthing Pipe: Most interesting man-made structure

When structures are built in the marine environment it doesn’t take long before they become colonised by creatures. Initially this can be a slow process, with tiny, microscopic organisms being the first to ‘move in’. In turn, this attracts other creatures and slowly but surely a unique ecosystem will build up.

This disused Victorian pipeline in Worthing, located just opposite the public car park on Brighton Road, is a great example, and a fantastic place to look for weird and wonderful marine life!

Seaford Head & The Seven Sisters: Great for stunning views

This stretch of coastline is iconic and one of the most photographed places in the UK – with extensive white cliffs and stunning views it’s easy to see why. Seaford Head is a great spot to enjoy the view of the Seven Sisters cliffs and keen walkers can enjoy a large number of footpaths and trails in the area. Incidentally, the beach at Seven Sisters is also a great rockpooling spot!

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