Jurassic Coast - A walk through time

15:13 27 April 2010

The Jurassic Coast

The Jurassic Coast

The striking Exmouth coastline. Visitors to the stunning coastline that is the Jurassic – or World Heritage – Coast, England’s only natural world heritage site stretching for 95 miles from Swanage in the east to Orcombe Point in Exmouth in the west, take a walk through time as the slope of the rock strata reveal 185 million years of the earth’s geological history, covering the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.
The Jurassic Coast Geo Needle

The Jurassic Coast

A huge contrast in the rocks can be experienced in just a few miles, from the brilliant red cliffs at Sidmouth to the chalk cliffs of Lyme Regis. The coastline includes dinosaur footprints, a fossil forest and one of the most famous building stones in Britain. The areas important fossil sites, along with its classic coastal geomorphologic features, have contributed to scientific studies for the past 300 years. The diverse environmental conditions, particularly the high levels of shallow water sediments, has led to an incredible range of species in the form of plants, insects, benthic and pelagic marine invertebrates, fish, marine and terrestrial reptiles and mammal skeletal remains and rare occurrences like soft tissue preservation. The Geoneedle, at Orcombe Point in Exmouth, is the gateway to the Jurassic Coast.

The Jurassic Coast Geo Needle

Is it any wonder that the coastline was nominated as a World Heritage Site, linking it to other famous world landmarks including the Grand Canyon, the Great Barrier Reef and the Taj Mahal?

Other British World Heritage Sites include the city of Bath, Hadrians Wall, the Tower of London and Stonehenge. These are all cultural sites; the Dorset and East Devon Coast is Englands first natural site. A World Heritage Site is a natural or cultural feature or area which has such universal value that it is regarded as the heritage of all mankind.

Criteria

The nomination of the Dorset and East Devon Coast was based on two of the four UNESCO criteria for natural World Heritage Sites:

  1. They should be outstanding examples representing major stages of the earths history, including the record of life, significant ongoing geological processes in the development of landforms or significant geomorphic or physiographic features, and
  2. Contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance.

The nomination was drawn up by Dorset and Devon County Councils in conjunction with the Dorset Coast Forum. The councils set up a technical working group and steering group to help with the nomination. They also had to ensure that there was a management plan and that the site was suitably protected and that the boundaries were clear. This was done by consulting with the landowners along the route.

In February 2001 an official inspection of the coastline and the nomination was made by UNESCO.

Recognised

The coast received designation in December 2001, when the UNESCO World Heritage Committee met in Helsinki, Finland. Now, this amazing coastline has been recognised as having a real global importance, giving the potential to bring extra benefits to the tourism industry.

This geological walk through time is expected to attract higher-spending visitors to stay longer in the area and to visit outside the usual summer period. Some of the ideas that have been thought of include specialist breaks, education and learning groups and World Heritage centres.

0 comments

More from Exmouth Journal

18:33
Three tenors (from left): Robert Fowler, Scott Hamilton and Julian Marc Stringle at the Budleigh Jazz Festival.

Budleigh Salterton Jazz Festival Review 2: Craig Milverton Trio with ‘The Three Tenors’ + Dixeland Allstars

Read more
17:51
Celebrations as the Exmouth Cockles win the Devon Cup Final beating visitors Brixham 31 points to 25. Ref exsp 18-16SH 2231. Picture: Simon Horn.

Exmouth 31 Brixham 25

Read more
Exmouth woman foils telephone scam

An outraged Exmouth woman, who escaped being a scam victim, is warning people to be on their guard.

Read more
12:30
Chris Dayer, head chef at The River Exe Cafe, which has been nominated for a national award

A floating restaurant moored in the River Exe near Exmouth has been nominated for a national award.

Read more
11:49
Budleigh Salterton Croquet Club Bridge Section Tuesday Duplicate winners Peter and Jackie Hardcastle with chairman Maureen Smith.

Budleigh Salterton Croquet Club Bridge Section held their Annual General Meeting last week.

Read more
11:48
Exe SCs Exehibitionist in full flight off Exmouth

The past week was another lively one for all at Exe SC, writes Rex Frost.

Read more
11:33
Vocalist Zoe Schwarz at the Budleigh Jazz Festival.

Budleigh Salterton Jazz Festival Review 1: Wind Machine + Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion

Read more
11:24
Regatta action off Exmouth

Don’t miss the chance to try sailing in this Olympic year when RYA Push the Boat Out returns from May 14 to 22.

Read more
Year six children at Otterton Primary School are pictured with the load of rucksacks that have been collected at school for the Mary's Meals charity. The youngsters have also raised around £400 by various events including a sponsored fast and sponsored silence as part of their RE work for the charity which provides school meals to children around the World. Ref exb 16-16SH 1247. Picture: Simon Horn

Children from Otterton Primary School have collected equipment and unused back packs for youngsters in other countries.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:30
The original script to Ron Delderfield's All Over the Town play.

The grand climax of Exmouth’s writing competition is this Saturday (April 30) at the Blackmore Theatre in Bicton Street, staring at 7pm.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 4°C

Most read

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications