General approaches that have been developed for facilitating community participation in coastal/estuarine management initiatives in the UK are considered and their implementation reviewed. It is argued that rural communities are more willing to participate proactively in such initiatives and that their relatively close association with the natural resources in question dictates that such participation is of particular importance. Urban communities, on the other hand, are less closely associated with natural resources and are less likely to take an interest in such initiatives, whilst recreational communities, especially those that are relatively diffuse, are more likely to take a reactive role in objecting to proposed management restrictions. It is concluded that, like many aspects of local coastal management, the approaches taken to community participation should be tailored to local characteristics, and that it its difficult to define an approach that represents 'best practice', though general approaches to improving the management formulation process by providing for community input are being developed and more widely applied in the UK. Issues related to the balance between providing for meaningful community participation and achieving strategic management objectives are considered, as are the possible reasons why community participation has a relatively low profile in the UK.