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Hartlepool’s coastline is well known for the Marina, Historic Quay and Seaton Carew but perhaps less well known is the miles of beautiful unspoilt beaches.  Most of the coast is nationally recognised as an important habitat for wildlife both with the flora you can find and the animal and bird life the coast attracts.Some key locations along Hartlepool’s coast:Hart Warren Dunes is the only calcareous dune system of any significance in the British Isles and is home to a wealth of wildlife including many beautiful and regionally rare orchids, such as the burnt tip, fragrant and pyramidal orchid.During the summer months you may witness the endangered Durham argus butterfly and this is one of the few places in Hartlepool where you can still find the common lizard.Located on the cliff edge to the north of Hartlepool Spion Kop Cemetery is a species rich dune grassland that provides a constant profusion of floral colour over the summer months.  The pink from the thrift combines with the vivid yellow of the birds-foot trefoil in a way that only nature can, to produce a strikingly beautiful display on this cemetery site.To the south of Seaton Carew is Seaton Dunes and Common.  The dune system is the largest between Lindisfarne and the Humber.  It supports orchid rich grassland that comes alive with colour over the summer months.The Common is a regionally important wetland, and provides a vital home to a vast number of both resident and migratory birds, as well as a whole host of mammals and invertebrates.Staying safe:Everyone loves the seaside and there’s nothing better than a bracing walk along the beach – or swim in the sea!  The coast does however possess real dangers and to that end Hartlepool Borough Council runs a beach safety service including lifeguards during the summer.  Watch out for the red/yellow flags that denote lifeguards are patrolling that particular area.Hartlepool Countryside Wardens:The Countryside Warden team manage some of the key coastal areas within Hartlepool including Hart Warren Dunes and Seaton Common and Dunes.  For details of walks and events contact the warden team on (01429) 853325.

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