Most Common Plants & Animals in Coastal UK

Updated July 20, 2017

A wide variety of plants and animals inhabit various areas of the coastal United Kingdom. Different types of soil, weather and location along the coast of the UK determine what types of plants and animals inhabit the area. Sand dunes, cliffs, mud flats and salt marshes make up portions of the coast.

Grey Seal

Half the world's population of grey seals live on the British coastline, most commonly in Scotland. Since they favour places where there are no people, large quantities of grey seals have colonised abandoned islands previously inhabited by humans. Rocky shores are preferable to the grey seal.


Thrift is a plant found naturally in coastal habitats of Europe growing on sand dunes, rocky ledges and cliff tops. Because of the pale pink flowers that bloom during the spring months, thrift is also known as "sea pink." Thrift grows easily in locations that receive full sun and in well-drained soil.


Bladderwrack is a species of seaweed, appearing in colours varying from yellow-green to dark brown. They can be seen year-round throughout coastal habitats on the rocky beaches of the British Isles. The minerals found in bladderwracks provide health benefits for heartburn, cancer, hypothyroidism and anti-ageing.


A variety of species of dolphins are found on the west coast of Scotland, the northern North Sea and in the Irish Sea. Species include Lagenorhynchus albirostris (white-beaked dolphin), Delphinus delphis (common dolphin) and Tursiops truncates (bottlenose dolphin). Depending on the species, dolphins are usually found in groups of less than 100 or from 100 to 500. All species consume squid, fish and various types of sea life.

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About the Author

Based in Redmond, Wash., Mallory Zebley has been writing articles about art, health and travel since 2010. Her work has been published on various websites. She is pursuing an associate degree in science from Utah Valley University.