Rocky shores, UK

Waves breaking on rocky shore, Portnahaven, Scotland


The UK’s expansive coastline, which is well over 6,000 kilometres long, varies dramatically and presents a number of different rocky habitats, ranging from calm, sheltered coves and rocky beaches to tall, imposing cliffs. Within each of these rocky habitats the conditions are highly dynamic, due to the ever-changing tides (1) as well as additional environmental factors such as temperature and wind (2). Rocky shores are formed when waves erode softer rocks, leaving harder rocks exposed (3).