Bamburgh Castle Image by Bryan Ledgard via Wikipedia CC BY-SA 3.0
Heritage coasts are sections of the coastline in England and Wales designated for their natural beauty, wildlife and heritage. The classification scheme was set up in 1972 to help protect coastline of important scenic and environmental value from undesirable development and to help promote access to it by the public.
A significant proportion of designated coastline is owned by the National Trust as part of its Project Neptune.
Heritage coasts in England are managed by Natural England, and in Wales by Natural Resources Wales (formerly the Countryside Council for Wales).