Cornish Biodiversity Network  -  Supporting Wildlife Recording

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Cornish Red Data (2009)

The descriptive text, below the map, is from the Cornish Red Data Book (2009). The map on this web page depicts the organisms distribution and shows the records made pre-2000 and those made since.

Rumex rupestris - Shore Dock

Range & Status

Native; a perennial plant of the coasts of Cornwall and Devon, Channel Islands and Isles of Scilly, as well as north-west France and north-west Spain. Only two sites now remain in Wales.

Regional Distribution

The main sites in Cornwall are along the south coast from Land' s End to Rame Head, and at Penhale Sands (SW75) on the north coast. It has been recorded in 67 1km squares but only 27 since 1999. Changes in coastal use and management have led to the loss of many of the original sites. There has been a marked decline on the Isles of Scilly, where the plant is now only found on four islands.

Habitat & Ecology

It is a plant of the upper part of sandy and rocky shores above the high tide mark and the typical habitat along the south coast of Cornwall is the stony raised beach, above a wavecut platform, where it lies next to a cliff-base that is damp with fresh-water flushes. It also grows from the fissures between the blocks of one harbour wall and occurs in dune-slacks at Penhale Sands. On the Isles of Scilly it is found at the top of the beach with strand-line species or at the base of low cliffs where there are freshwater seepages.


Changes in coastal use and management, especially tourist pressure; also projected rises in sea-level and associated storm surges (in the Isles of Scilly the loss of sites has been mainly attributed to storms and visitor pressure). Drought can severely affect populations.


Most sites are within SACs and SSSI. Shore Dock also carries the following statuses: WCA: Sch8, Berne: A1, HabDir: Annex 2/4/5.

Click here to see Aphotoflora images by David Fenwick


I.J. Bennallick, S. Board, C.N. French, P.A. Gainey, C. Neil, R. Parslow, A. Spalding and P.E. Tompsett. eds. 2009. Red Data Book for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. 2nd Edition.Croceago Press.

The Cornish Red Data Book Project was led by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation for Biological Recorders (CISFBR). The full text and species accounts (minus the maps) are available on the CISFBR website.

Cornish Biodiversity Network. 2017.