We utilised genetic markers (ISSR's) to investigate population structuring in Crambe maritima, a coastal perennial found in isolated populations on either side of the English Channel. Despite the expectation that smaller populations would contain lower levels of genetic diversity, we found no correlation with total population size or the number of flowering plants and genetic diversity. Although populations were genetically differentiated from each other, isolation by distance was not apparent in the whole data set or within the UK samples. Despite being sampled from a wide geographic range, the majority of diversity (71%) was contained within populations, with no unique genotype, or even allele, identifying any population. When genetic distances were plotted using MDS techniques, samples from each population had a tendency to cluster, but the spread of points was wide indicating high levels of gene flow. High levels of gene flow, through the dispersal of seeds, were verified by assignment testing, which showed that 8.7% of individuals were assigned to a population other than the one they were collected from. The pattern of genetic variation can be explained by examining the direction of currents in the English Channel and Bay of Biscay. Gene flow, via seed dispersal, is possible between UK and French populations on either side of the English Channel. In contrast, French populations on the Bay of Biscay coast are effectively isolated by the direction of currents and consequently show a greater degree of genetic differentiation.