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Coastal Cliffs and Lake Bluffs Symposium


Tuesday 17th and Wednesday 18th September 2013      EUC logo  ‌ ‌   Logo ‎             ‎‎‎
‌Llandudno, North Wales‎


Welcome to the website for the symposium ‘Conservation, management and restoration of coastal cliffs and lake bluffs’.

We are pleased to announce an international symposium exploring the conservation, management and restoration of coastal cliffs and lake bluffs.

Understanding the significance of these areas and their management requirements in the face of human exploitation and the impact of climate change is a major challenge. In order to identify the status, issues and management requirements of these areas a symposium is organised.

For more information, email

You can also contact us by post at Cliffs Symposium, c/o Department of Geography, Faculty of Sciences and Social Sciences, Hope Park, Liverpool L16 9JD, United Kingdom.



There is an extensive literature on the conservation of coastal habitats saltmarsh, sand dune and shingle (gravel) structures. By comparison, there appears to be much less information on sea cliffs, especially the more resistant ‘hard’ rock cliffs. Sea cliffs are clearly an extensive and important formation worldwide. They support a wide variety of vegetation from ephemeral communities to dense woodland with a diverse fauna. Some may be amongst the habitats least disturbed by humans and as such, provide an important opportunity for studying ecology (Larson et al. 2000; Rhind 2003).

Climatic effects are a distinct feature in coastal locations. The shape of wind-pruned trees and shrubs, characterise some of the most exposed locations. In other areas, oceanic effects may ameliorate the climate, influencing the vegetation some distance inland. Moisture-laden air, derived from onshore winds, also affects coastal forests in many parts of the world. Sheltered steep-sided coastal valleys and the lee slopes of coastal cliffs may support ancient woodland.

By contrast, to these wooded cliffs, salt spray can also have a significant influence. This may include grazed turf with salt tolerant communities, or further inland species rich limestone grassland or heath. Exceptionally, hurricane storms can force salt spray up to 90m in the air helping to create unusual communities such as those of the megacliffs of Croatia (Lovric 1993).

Soft rock boulder clay cliffs can erode rapidly. With the instability a different set of interest develops, including rare and specialist invertebrates.

Symposium Themes

Oral presentations and poster papers are invited on the following themes:

  • Descriptions by continent including location, scale, and habitat
  • Geology, geomorphology (‘hard’ and ‘soft’ rocks)
  • Nature conservation values, nature reserves etc
  • Management, sea birds, rare species (e.g. chough), invertebrates etc
  • Restoration of coastal grasslands and heath
  • Coastal defence
  • Great Lakes bluffs.

The meeting will be of interest to a wide range of interests including, but not exclusively, coastal conservationists, land managers, ecological consultants and academics.


Submission of Abstracts

You are invited to submit a proposal for an oral presentation and / or a poster paper relating to the symposium themes.

Download an Cliffs Symposium Abstract Submission Form.

If you still wish to submit an abstract please contact the symposium organisers via e-mail

The symposium programme is currently being created and will be announced shortly. 

Dates and Programme

Important Dates

  • Wednesday 31st July 2013 – first event booking deadline. Last date the ‘Early Bird Booking’ discount will be given. After this date a supplement will be applied.
  • Thursday 5th September 2013– Final booking deadline.
  • Monday 16th September 2013 – optional pre-symposium field excursion to the Great Orme
  • Tuesday 17th and Wednesday 18th September 2013– Cliff symposium (17th) and a field excursion to South Stack in Anglesey (18th) 
  • Thursday 19th September 2013 – optional post-symposium excursion to Llyn Peninsula 

For more information, email

Symposium Programme

The outline programme is:

  • Monday 16th September 2013 – optional pre-symposium afternoon excursion to the Great Orme SAC, one of the finest examples of limestone heath and grassland in the UK and with sea cliffs of significance for their vegetation.
  • Tuesday 17th September 2013 - symposium at Venue Cymru, Llandudno, North Wales. Symposium dinner during the evening.
  • Wednesday 18th September 2013 – symposium field excursion to South Stack, an internationally important cliff site in Wales.
  • Thursday 19th September – optional post-symposium field excursion to Llyn Peninsula, an internationally important cliff site in Wales.

Symposium draft programme of events for Tuesday 17th September 2013. This is subject to change.




Registration and refreshments    


Welcome and introductions

Speakers to be confirmed 



Dr Peter Rhind Natural Resource Wales Conservation and management of coastal slope woodlands with particular reference to the Lleyn Peninsula (Wales)
  Sue Rees*, Jon Curson, Dave Evans Natural England Soft cliffs and coastal management in England: 2002-2012
  Stewart Angus*, David Maclennan Scottish Natural Heritage The management of offshore islands for nature conservation: the outer Outer Hebrides
  Dr Michael Howe*, Andrew Whitehouse Natural Resource Wales, Buglife Coastal soft cliff invertebrates are reliant on dynamic coastal processes
11.00-11.20AM Refreshment break    
11.20-12.40PM Caroline Stuiver*, Robert J Nicholls, David Richards, Max Barton University of Southampton  The influence of inter-tidal shore platforms on soft cliff recession rates and headland formation on the southwest coast of the Isle of Wight
  Claire Earlie*, Gerd Masselink, Paul Russell, Robin Shail, Larissa Naylor Plymouth University Terrestrial Laser Scanning as a method of evaluating seasonal changes to hard rock coastal cliffs
  Dr Klaus Schwarzer Kiel University, Institute of Geosciences, Sedimentology, Coastal and Coninental Shelf Research The correlation between nearshore development and coastal cliff retreat 
  Andres Payo*, Jim Hall, Mike Walkden, Andrew Bradbury, Robert Nicholls Environment change Institute University of Oxford Review of long term modelling approaches of cliff evolution from the complex adaptive system perspective
12.40-1.40PM Lunch, Poster papers and displays    
1.40-3.20PM Ken Pye  Kenneth Pye Associates LTD  Spatial and temporal variations in soft cliff erosion along the Holderness coast, East Riding of Yorkshire, UK
  Barbara Vidmar Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Nature Conservation Botanical and nature conservation evaluation of Strunjan sea cliffs
  Anthony Flux National Trust The Brownsea Island Shoreline Restoration Project 
  Vincent May Independent Consultant, United Kingdom  Coastal cliff conservation and management: the Dorset and East Devon Coast World Heritage Site
  Professor Roger Moore University of Sussex Cliff instability and erosion management in Great Britain
3.20-3.40PM Refreshment break    
3.40-4.10PM John Ratcliffe*, David Bateson  Natural Resource Wales, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds Conservation management issues and solutions-South Stack, Wales
 4.10-4.40PM Workshop sessions on symposium themes    
4.40-5.00PM Plenary    

*papers that have more than one author. Asterisk indicates who submitted the paper.

Venue and Booking

The symposium will be held in Venue Cymru, The Promenade, Llandudno, LL30 1BB, North Wales. This is a large modern conference facility with spectacular views across the Victorian seaside resort of Llandudno to the sea cliffs of Little Orme and Great Orme.

Delegates will book their own accommodation. Llandudno is Wales’ largest seaside tourist resort. It is a very attractive and well kept location offering a wide range of accommodation options to suit all tastes and pockets. See below for a list of recommended hotels.

Go to the Visit Llandudno website  to find out more about Llandudno and to book your accommodation.

Travel details for reaching Llandudno are also available at Visit Llandudno.  



The booking processes for this event are now available. You can book via the university's online store which makes card payments easier for you and the university. Please note this is the univeristies preferred method of payment. 

You can also use the methods of payments listed below when booking this event.

BACS Bank Transfer

Paying by BACS incurs additional charges; please contact us first if you wish to pay by this method.


Please make cheques payable to ‘Liverpool Hope University’ and send by post to:

Liverpool Hope University

Cliff Symposium

Geography Department

Hope Park

L16 9JD

United Kingdom


If you would like to make payments via a different method please contact for more information. 

Changes and cancellation policy:

Cancellations made before the 10th August 2013 will be refunded at the rate of 80%. After that date there will be no right to reimbursement. In case of ‘no show’ at the conference full charges will apply.

Any changes must be submitted to the organisers using the contact details posted on the conference web site.

The symposium organisers aim to provide a good value, good quality event. 


Hotel suggestions for symposium guests (price low-high)

Travelodge-Colwyn Bay Hotel – 5.3 miles from Venue Cymru

Standard room (saver rate-advanced booking) £24

Standard room £45

Kensington Hotel- 0.2 miles from Venue Cymru

£47 bed and breakfast

Four Oaks Llandudno- 0.1 mile from Venue Cymru

Standard room, welsh breakfast and 3 course dinner


Regency Royal Hotel-0.8 miles from Venue Cymru

£50 bed and breakfast (£50 supplement charge if single occupancy in twin/double room)

Premier Inn – 3.8 miles away from Venue Cymru

Standard room £66

Dundoon Hotel- 1 mile away from Venue Cymru

£68 bed and breakfast

Cae Mor Hotel- 0.3 miles from venue Cymru

Standard room £95

The Imperial Hotel- 0.3 miles away from venue Cymru.

£106 bed and breakfast (advanced purchase)

£125 bed and breakfast

St George’s Hotel- 0.3 miles away from venue Cymru

£110 bed and breakfast


The hotels are suggested as a guide only. Liverpool Hope University has suggested these hotels due to their close distance to Venue Cymru. The prices stated are applicable as of January 2013; please note they are subject to change. 


The symposium is organised through the Sand Dune and Shingle Network based at Liverpool Hope University on behalf of,
and with the support of, EUCC-UK.

The event is promoted by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) Coastal and Marine Research Group and IGU Commission on Coastal Systems.

 The principle organisers of this symposium are:

  • Paul Rooney, Senior Lecturer and Director of the Sand Dune and Shingle Network, Liverpool Hope University, UK
  • Dr Pat Doody, National Coastal Consultants, UK

The event organisers welcome offers of financial and practical assistance. Sponsorship packages are available.  If you wish to support this symposium please e-mail