Wildlife at Souter Lighthouse and The Leas

Seabird at Souter Lighthouse and The Leas

Discover the great variety of wildlife that calls our special place home all year round.


Kittiwakes nest in Marsden Bay and it's now home to over 5,000 pairs. Turnstones and purple sandpipers can be seen the length of the coast with other breeding birds including the large fulmar, cormorants, shags, razorbills and guillemots.


Maritime plants like thrift, scurvy grass and sea plantain thrive on this coast, with the magnesian limestone rich soil supporting rich flora. It's also home to Pyramidal orchids, autumn gentian and wild thyme. For plants like torgrass, yellow wort and bee orchid, Marsden is the northernmost point at which they'll grow in Britain.

Trow Quarry

Important for its geology, land forms, wildflowers and seabirds. A Site of Special Scientific Interest for its vegetated cliffs, it's also a Northumbria Coast Special Protection Area and a wetland space of international importance.

Rocket Green

Rocket Green has the richest variety of rare wildflowers on this coast. The clifftop meadow is home to autumn gentian, bee orchid and dropwort. Small scabious even grow in the shallow lime-rich soils.

Nature Reserve

This site was designated a Local Nature Reserve in 2003 and features tree planting, a bird observatory and wetland habitats for a variety of creatures, including pochard ducks and ducklings.

Birds of prey

A fantastic selection of birds of prey can be seen along the coast at various times of the year.
  • Kestrel,
  • Little owl
  • Sparrowhawk
  • Short-eared owl
  • Peregrine falcon
Secretive in nature and speedy flight mean sightings of these magnificent birds are often both brief and distant. Great photo opportunities do arise though so make sure you always have your camera handy as you never know, you may just get lucky.