The steep banks between the upland level and the sea beach are notably unstable. The base of the slope tends to be undermined by wave action as material is brought down from the slumping upper slopes, especially during extended periods of wet, stormy weather.
Added to the natural erosion is the human erosion associated with trampling, and the making of trails down to the beach. The impact of salt spray is an environmental factor that must be tolerated especially inWinter storms.
No doubt because of this instability, the flora of this formation includes a larger proportion of exotic species than does that of the other communities. Much of this community now is made up of a mixture of native and exotic species in almost equal proportions; with native-dominated and exotic-dominated sub-communities forming a mosaic.
Generally, the community is shrubby in structure, with Snowberry and Nootka Rose dominating much of it; but Bitter Cherry dominates an area just east of Finlayson Point.
A notable change in recent years has been the invasion and rapid spread of English Elm in the area between in the area between the south end of Douglas Street and Finlayson Point during the past twenty-five years. Scattered seedlings have appeared, and have become the centers of spreading dense thickets of suckers, in which almost nothing else can grow. At its present rate of spreading, this elm could become the dominant tree of a wood in that area within the next twenty years.