Jurassic Post Edition 35
Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes (David Bowie 1971)
There seems to be so much change going on at the moment that I thought I would talk about it in the context of managing a World Heritage Site here and now, before things change again!
Change for us involves having to write a Management Plan (our ‘contract’ with UNESCO) that anticipates future unknown change and that can guard against resulting negative impacts. I mean, nobody even considered offshore wind farms when the UK Government submitted the nomination to UNESCO in 1999 and ‘fracking’ was a word at that time only heard on the TV sci-fi series Battlestar Galactica.
The Fossilling Bug
A few years ago, I picked up a smooth oval limestone pebble (about the size of my fist) on Charmouth beach. At the time I didn’t think much of it, but was told by Richard Edmonds, our Earth Science Manager that it had the potential to house an interesting find. Not being an expert in fossil preparation, I let nature do its work and put the pebble in the garden to naturally weather away.
Work is progressing on the Plateau and Goat Island study using the UAV, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle which is generating photo mosaic tiles to map the geology of the foreshore. A second survey was flown in June 2014 with further funding from Natural England and this enabled the eastern end of the Plateau to be completed and to extend the survey west, beyond the Slabs and into the Dowlands/Bindon landslide complex. The reason for the extended survey is that the geology is more complex and the results from the 2013 season suggested that it would be well worth applying the same techniques to this area.
Out of my Box – A summer with the Jurassic Coast
The Jurassic Coast, England’s only natural UNESCO World Heritage Site, can throw up some fantastic jobs. This summer I have been working with the Jurassic Coast Team in a dual role, firstly in the office helping with the administration and public communication, and secondly with Anjana on the Big Jurassic Classroom programme. Together, we have been preparing a ‘Box of Rocks’ for 6 local primary schools! This is funded by the Primary Science Teaching Trust and is aimed at bringing hands-on geology into primary school.
Sedimental 5 – Written in Stone
Ask most people about the Jurassic Coast and their immediate thought is likely to be along the lines of “that place with all those fossils…” This, however, is not the full picture. Although the Dorset and East Devon Coast has fantastic fossils in abundance, a significant part of the “outstanding universal value” of the World Heritage Site comes from the rocks themselves. The Jurassic Coast is unique in the world because, in traversing the cliffs, you can walk through 185 million years of nearly continuous Earth history in 95 miles.
East Cliff complete... Well nearly
The £19 million Lyme Regis East Cliff Phase 4 coast defence scheme is nearly complete despite a construction phase that required working through one of the worst possible winters imaginable. The scheme follows two other major phases of work over the last 20 years managed by West Dorset District Council, Gun Cliff, the old, historic heart of the town and the sea front and Cobb ‘rockery’ extension that protects the main town.
New Steering Group Chair - Doug Hulyer
An introduction to the new Chair of the Steering Group, Doug Hulyer. Here Doug outlines his passion for the coast, his background and the challenges he sees going forward.
A couple of years ago I was asked to be on a panel for the Radio 4 Saving Species show; the subject of the edition was how to encourage and grow the next generation of naturalists.... There was a subtext that all kids wanted to do nowadays was play on their smartphones and that natural history was only for the most nerdy. Brett asked each of us what turned us on to nature.
Within the last few weeks, wanderers on Budleigh Beach may have noticed the arrival of the ‘Budleigh Banksy’… Like the original, this covert artist is using his natural surroundings to create pieces with a deeper local meaning.
Sticklands Primary School gets a Jurassic makeover
The Big Jurassic Classroom Pocket Money grants programme was created by the Jurassic Coast Trust to provide small grants to schools who wish to use the World Heritage Site in their teaching and learning programme. Sticklands Primary School in Evershot was delighted to be awarded the BJC Pocket Money grant for the second year in a row.
Friends of Charmouth and Durlston Exchange Visits
In May, 25 Friends of the Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre visited Durlston Country Park. The trip was organised to provide an opportunity for the volunteers at CHCC to enjoy a day out, meeting other volunteers with a similar interest and to see the development at Durlston Country Park.
Community Coordinator Blog
I’ve had an exhilarating first month as Jurassic Coast Community Coordinator. I never imagined I’d become blasé about seeing dinosaur footprints nor have so many tea-and-biscuits meetings accompanied by such stunning backdrops!
Jurassic Coast Marine Links
Following the independent Peer Review Evaluation (undertaken by Systra) of the Jurassic Coast Marine Links project, we recently met with Torbay District Council, who have been through a similar process in the last few years with the Torbay to Brixham ferry.