What will be the future of the Jurassic Coast? That depends on all of us.
No one group or organisation owns this World Heritage Site. Protecting it involves lots of people working together, from landowners who hold stretches of the Dorset or East Devon coastline to the local volunteers who help people understand the Site’s global heritage importance.
Our collective vision for the future is a wild and rugged coastline, majestic, beautiful, beloved by residents and visitors alike, overflowing with wildlife and ready to reveal its mysterious stories about our ancient world.
Where does the Jurassic Coast Trust come in?
The job of the Jurassic Coast Trust is to support the co-operation and collaboration necessary to protect the World Heritage Status of the Jurassic Coast.
We provide expertise to guide conservation and leadership on how to transform the complex heritage values of the Site into an inspiring learning experience, as well as overseeing the World Heritage Site Partnership Plan.
The Importance of Erosion
The coast is where land, sea and sky meet. It is a dynamic landscape where drama is found both in its nature and in how we as human beings interact with it.
Conservation of the Jurassic Coast starts with the rock exposures, fossils and natural landforms that form the basis of its World Heritage Status. One thing underpins all of these – erosion. Erosion is the natural process of the land being worn away, from the action of a single rain drop to the spectacular impact of an enormous landslide. The coastline only exists because of erosion and over time it has created the iconic landforms that so many people know and love, such as Chesil beach, Durdle Door, Lulworth Cove and Ladram Bay.
Managing the Coast
Erosion keeps the cliff face fresh, the unique rock record exposed, and continues to reveal new fossils. The wild and dynamic coast is also a fantastic habitat for wildlife and a hugely important economic asset, because its natural beauty draws people to the area. Protecting these benefits as well as the World Heritage Status of the Jurassic Coast means allowing the process of natural change to continue.
However, people can often be wary of change, seeing it as bad or even threatening… and of course it sometimes is. Houses, roads, towns and villages can be put at risk from coastal flooding and erosion. Rocks falls, landslides and mudflows can put beach users in danger and can even be fatal.
Managing the coast sustainably is about balance. We need to act sensitively to the very real threats erosion poses, but also learn to celebrate and protect all the wonderful benefits that it brings. If we can do that we will be better prepared to adapt to inevitable change and defend the World Heritage Site for generations to come.