Coastal habitats and plants

Teesside has a varied coastline ranging from saltmarshes to high cliffs. The range of plants is also enhanced to a certain degree by the activities of the various industrial plants in the lower Tees estuary.

The coastal parts of the Tees basin also have a number of SSSI's (Sites of Special Scientific Interest). Parts of the saltmarsh and coastal grassland and dune slacks have become a NNR (National Nature Reserve)  

Some of the richest species areas are found in the north of the area at Hart Warren and the fringes of the Hartlepool Golf Course just south of Crimdon Dene. This area has some of the former county of Cleveland's best calcicoles (lime loving plants)

Common Seal 6Kb
Common Seal
Seals are a common sight around the Tees estuary at all time of the year. If you want to see them out of the water the hide at Seal Sands is a good place to start. The exposed mud at low water near the road bridge over Greatham creek has recently become a good place to see the seals at close quarters.
Limpets 10Kb

Limpets and Acorn Barnacles
At the end of both North and South Gare you can find the various crustaceans who find a home on the "Slag" deposited there from a hundred years of steel making.

Fragrant Orchid (Gynadenia conpsea) 12Kb Along the coastal cliffs good numbers of Fragrant Orchids (Gynadenia conpsea)  can be found including the the sub species densiflora 

Buck's-horn Plantain (Plantago coronopus) 15Kb
Buck's horn Plantain
The Buck's thorn Plantain (Plantago coronopus) can be found all along the coastal parts of the Tees valley. The picture opposite is actualy taken in Upper Teesdale which is quite a long way from the sea. Many sea plants also occur on mountains and cliffs many miles inland.
Broad-leaved Everlasting Pea (Lathyrus latifolius) 8Kb
Everlasting Pea (Lathyrus latifolius)
The Everlasting Pea (Lathyrus latifolius) can be found along the coastal cliff sections of the coast south of the Tees at Skinningrove. It makes a very good display and adds colour to the summer hedgerow and scrub near the sea.
Ladies Bedstraw
Lady's Bedstraw (Galium verum)
In the dunes around areas such as South Gare the various tracks sides produce a community of attractive plants such as Lady'd Bedstraw (Galium verum) Bird's-foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus), Yellow Rattle (Rhinanthus minor) and the little Eyebrights (Euphrasia sp.) Characteristic species also include Common Centaury (Centaurium erythraea) and Yellow Wort (Blackstonia perfoliata). This last species is a frequent coloniser of the basic slag areas of the coast.