Jurassic Coast | Chineland
Friday 21st June 2024

Jurassic Coast

The Jurassic Coast is England’s first World Heritage Site. It covers 95 miles of coastline from East Devon to Dorset immediately West of Chineland.


Durdle Door

The Jurassic Coast consists of Triassic (200-250 million years old), Jurassic (200 – 145 million years old) and Cretaceous (145-60 million years old) cliffs, spanning the Mesozoic Era and documents 185 million years of the Earth’s geological history.

The area includes excellent examples of landforms, including the natural arch at Durdle Door, the cove and limestone folding at Lulworth Cove and an island, the Isle of Portland. Chesil Beach is a fine example of both a tombolo (a deposition landform in which an island is attached to the mainland by a narrow piece of land such as a spit or bar) and a storm beach (a beach affected by particularly fierce waves). The site has stretches of both concordant and discordant coastlines. Due to the quality of the varied geology, the site is the subject of international field studies. This area was home to Mary Anning, a palaeontologist who studied the fossils of the coastline around Lyme Regis and discovered the first complete Ichthyosaur fossil at the Spittles. The highest point on the JurassicCoast, and on the entire south coast of Britain, is Golden Cap at 191 metres (627 ft).


Old Harry Rocks

During World War II several sections of the JurassicCoast became property of the Ministry of War. One of the Royal Navy’s largest bases was at PortlandHarbour, though it has since closed. A major army base at Bovington remains in use today, and large areas of land, including the coast between Lulworth Cove and Kimmeridge, including the ghost village of Tyneham, are still only partially accessible. Areas of the coast near Exmouth, The Fleet at Weymouth and the beaches at Studland have also been used for training for war, but have since been returned to civilian use. Sea stacks, such as Old Harry’s Rocks at Handfast Point, are an occasional feature of the coast.

Parts of the coast, especially around Portland, can be dangerous, and shipwrecks have been a feature of the coast. In January 2007 the coast experienced its most environmentally damaging wreck when the MSC Napoli, a 2,400 capacity container ship, was beached at Branscombe near Sidmouth, losing oil and cargo.

Landslips and rockfalls are a continuing feature of the evolution of this coast. On May 6 2008, a 400-metre (1,312 ft) section of the coast was dramatically re-shaped after a landslip that was described as the worst in 100 years.


Lulworth Cove

The JurassicCoast is largely an eroding landscape and management of the site aims to allow the natural processes involved while protecting people and property.

Courtesy Wikipedia
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