There are two types of maritime cliffs in East Sussex – the chalk cliffs between Brighton and Eastbourne and the softer sandstone cliffs between Hastings and Fairlight. Altogether there are approximately 45km of cliffs in East Sussex, which are largely undefended from erosion by the sea. These have national and European importance for their biology and geology.
Cliffs can be a hostile area to colonise, but they provide an important niche for several species – several types of solitary bees and wasps burrow in the sandstone cliffs.
A few hardy species of plants can survive, either on cliff tops or in the small amounts of soil which build up on ledges.
Our cliffs are home to a whole host of sea birds, including kittiwakes and fulmars nesting on narrow ledges, and sand martins found nesting in the sandstone.