On December 11th 2001, at the 25th session of the World Heritage Committee, the Dorset and East Devon Coast became a World Heritage Site.

You can see the notes of that meeting here, with the inscriptions confirmed under item 10 (X).

The Dorset and East Devon Coast soon become known widely as the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site and was embraced by its communities. Today you will see the words ‘Jurassic Coast’ on road signs, books, leaflets, websites and vehicles across the two counties, revealing that World Heritage status has become embedded in the identity of the area.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Jurassic Coast’s inscription as a World Heritage Site, the Jurassic Coast Trust is setting itself a challenge; we want to use the anniversary to catalyse action throughout 2022. The last two years have been dominated by the need to survive and, as we all continue to emerge from the necessary constraints of the pandemic (fingers crossed), our team hopes to capitalise on World Heritage values to inspire people to explore this wonderful place and celebrate it with us.

What will we be up to?

We are busy planning a programme based around three key components – Exploring the Jurassic Coast, Climate Change and the Jurassic Coast Collection. We are looking forward to working with partners to deliver exhibitions, citizen science projects, new online activities and all new content about the Site. There is a lot to do! Learn more below and stay tuned to our social media channels #JurassicCoastTurns20


How can you join in?

There will be plenty of ways to get involved as the year progresses. We will update this page with more details as we go along with announcements and information on social media #JurassicCoastTurns20

For now, say tuned to our YouTube channel for some special 20th anniversary postings on 11th December, and sign up to our Strava club.


Did You Know?

The Jurassic Coast shares its inscription anniversary with Derwent Valley Mills, New Lanark and Saltaire World Heritage Sites in the UK, as well as The Historic Centre of Vienna in Austria, Samarkand in Turkey and many others.

20th Anniversary Events Programme

In collaboration with local partners and fossil collectors, we are proud to present a series of exhibits and associated events that highlight some of the most exciting stories the Jurassic Coast has to offer.

Our 20th Anniversary Events Programme is a live document and will be updated with confirmed dates as they are finalised.

20th anniversary events programme cover image - wide

Pebbles People

Throughout 2022 our partner organisations will strategically place painted pebbles along the Jurassic Coast for you to find and photograph.

Our ambassadors and partner centres will also share a pebble-related story every month.
Follow our @JurassicCoastScience account on Instagram for all the latest Pebbles People content throughout the year.

The famous Budleigh Salterton pebbles
The famous Budleigh Salterton pebbles

Digitally Exploring the Coast

Throughout the year we will be creating digital snapshots of the coast from the land and the sea for you to enjoy and learn about.

There will be a variety of videos, which are aimed to celebrate the coast and the lasting memories it can leave, to assist potential visitors with additional physical or neurological needs, and to relax with the calming tranquillity and beauty of the coast from a distance.

Old Harry Rocks - sunrise
Early morning sun on Old Harry Rocks, Purbeck. © Steve Belasco - stevebelasco.net

The Jurassic Coast Collection

As part of our 20th Anniversary celebrations, we are working with partners to plan a programme of exciting exhibitions and events that connect visitors with the palaeontology of the Jurassic Coast.

Over the next 12 months you there will be opportunities to partake in scientific study through ‘Citizen Science’ projects, and to learn about new and varied research from the Jurassic Coast; to experience new fossil discoveries and connect with the professional collectors who rescue these important fossils from the sea; and to join guided tours of important palaeontological sites you may have never known existed!

Fossil prep image
Chris Reedman preparing at fossil at Dorset Museum. © David Gulden

Our Dynamic Coast

The ways in which climate change could affect the World Heritage Status of the Jurassic Coast is a key concern for our work in the coming years.

To get to grips with that question however, requires a good understanding of the existing dynamic systems of the coastline.

Over the course of 2022, we will be working with Vince May, Emeritus Professor at Bournemouth University, to bring his work on Our Dynamic Coast to life via a whole new section on our website.

We will be examining everything from landslides to wave patterns in order to tell the story of how change is the lifeblood of the Jurassic Coast .

Eype beach from West Bay
Eype beach from West Bay. © Sam Rose