Coastal vegetated shingle is a rare and declining resource worldwide but is found extensively around the UK coastline. Shingle sediments b-axes range between 2 mm and 200 mm and occur as fringing beaches, bars, spits, barrier islands and forelands. Sediment patterns are dependent upon accretion or erosion. With sea-level rise, shingle features tend to move inland. Larger features may support reservoirs of fresh water but risk becoming saline with sea-level rise. Ranker soils may develop but are naturally fragile. Vegetated shingle communities are dependent upon substrate stability, moisture and nutrient availability. Only specialized and some ruderal plants can persist in patterns dependent upon geomorphic history. Coastal defence, agriculture, public access and control of alien species are important factors in habitat management. Because of its dynamic and unusual nature coastal vegetated shingle is an important habitat for environmental education.