The Durham coast stretches from Sunderland to Hartlepool and has emerged from its heavy industrial past to be a coastline worthy of the Heritage Coast status awarded in 2001. Durham's coastal habitat was devastated by the mining industry in the 20th Century and this had a heavy toll on the Durham wildlife and habitat. Following the closure of the coal mines in the 1980's, the 'Turning the Tide' project was launched which has successfully transformed the coastal area.
Crimdon Sands offers a fine dune system which is beneficial to the Durham wildlife. A Little Tern colony was established in the 1990's which breeds on the nearby beaches. The coastal path that runs along much of the coast offers dramatic views of the coastal habitat, it is an area rich in headlands, Magnesian Limestone cliffs, stacks, rocky shores and coves.
Towns and cities in Durham include Hartlepool, Seaham, Horden, and Blackhall Rocks.
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