What have previous Jurassic Coast management frameworks helped to achieve?

Previous management frameworks for the Jurassic Coast have provided a foundation for the ambition that stakeholders share for the World Heritage Site.  Policy frameworks have helped draw in funding for strategic projects and inspired action from national partners.

World Heritage Status itself is thought to influence around £100 million a year of economic activity in the local area, evidencing the value of ongoing Site protection and management. The paragraphs below summarise some examples of what has been achieved by various stakeholders since 2001, to the benefit of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.

Safeguarding Outstanding Universal Value

The information and policy frameworks within Site management plans have fed into the development of strategic documents including Shoreline Management Plans and Local Plans.

Site management plans have also provided guidance within a planning context, helping prevent damage to the Site’s OUV. Key examples include the design and implementation of phase IV of the Lyme Regis Coastal Defence works at East cliff, the design and implementation of improvements to the West Bay flood defences at East Beach, and the creation of the Sidmouth Beach Management Plan.

Lyme Regis Sea Wall
Lyme Regis Sea Wall. © Andrew via Flickr.

Attracting Funding for Museums’ Fossil Collections

To date, over twenty million pounds of investment has been acquired by accredited museums in Dorset in support of different projects to improve the curation and display of their collections, with a portion of the money spent on Jurassic Coast fossils of international significance.

Bridport Museum and Lyme Regis Museum have new displays of local specimens with engaging and hands on interpretation. The Etches Collection in Kimmeridge is a new facility housing a unique and globally important collection of fossils from the Kimmeridge Clay with associated learning and research programmes.

At the time of writing, Dorset County Museum is undergoing a complete transformation of its building and galleries, including the re-display of some of its key Jurassic Coast fossils and the creation of a new storage and research space.

lyme regis museum fossil drawer
Fossils at Lyme Regis Museum. © Matt Austin.

Supporting Volunteering Efforts

Volunteering continues to be a vital part of how communities and individuals support the work of Jurassic Coast stakeholders and contribute to Site management and visitor engagement.

The network of visitor centres and museums along the Site (also known as ‘the string of pearls) along with the Jurassic Coast Trust maintain strong relationships with their own volunteer groups and continue to provide opportunities for volunteer training, such as through the Jurassic Coast Volunteer Network programme.

Wider programmes such as Litter Free Coast and Sea co-ordinate and support volunteer beach cleans along the World Heritage Site as well as promoting responsible and sustainable visitor behaviour.

Helen Lowe - Dippy volunteering
Volunteer Helen Lowe at Dippy on Tour, 2018. Photo © Jerry Fenner.

Dippy on Tour – 2018

The Natural History Museum in London collaborated with the Jurassic Coast Trust and Dorset County Museum in order to bring the tour of ‘Dippy’, the 21-metre-long Diplodocus cast to Dorset in 2018.

Hosted by Dorset County Museum, ‘Dippy’ attracted over 150,000 visitors during its 12-week stay and contributed an estimated £2,250,000 to the local economy. A further 20,000 people were engaged through a public programme of outreach across Dorset and East Devon that used Dippy as a catalyst to inspire people’s curiosity about nature.

The exhibition of Dippy in Dorset won several awards, including Outstanding Contribution to Dorset Tourism 2018.

dippy sleepover
A sleepover for Julia's House Children's Hospice with Dippy the dinosaur in 2018. Photo © Dominic Old

Specialist Geological Events

In October 2016, the Geologists’ Association hosted its sixth annual conference: ‘The Jurassic Coast: geoscience and education’. Over 100 delegates met at the Heights Hotel on the Isle of Portland to discuss the role of geoscience and education on the Jurassic Coast and a Special Issue of the Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association (PGA) was subsequently produced.

This special volume provides an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate fifteen years of research and investigation since the inscription of the Jurassic Coast in 2001, bringing together different disciplines in geoscience, education and interpretation to share knowledge and consider the importance and opportunities of cross-discipline collaboration.

PGA Volume
PGA Volume that focuses on the World Heritage Site.

Public Engagement & Learning

Meaningful, high quality and wide-reaching public engagement with the geological heritage of the Jurassic Coast has been achieved through formal learning programmes and interpretation projects led and delivered by many different Jurassic Coast stakeholders.

The designation of the Dorset and East Devon Coast led to an ambitious Arts Strategy which in turn led to the development of a multi-faceted Arts Programme that ran between 2005 and 2013.

The Jurassic Coast Story Book, the new interpretation framework for the World Heritage Site, continues to guide the development of geoheritage interpretation across the length of the Site, whilst over half a million pounds has been invested in the design and delivery of new physical interpretation, access and public realm improvements.

The Big Jurassic Classroom (BJC) successfully demonstrated how the Jurassic Coast can influence and impact classroom teaching about rocks and fossils on a local and national level. The Primary Science Teaching Trust took full ownership of the BJC in 2014 to continue and grow its national reach and impact on Primary schools.

Camp Bestival fossils
Children at Camp Bestival discovering fossils with the Jurassic Coast Trust. © Eddy Pearce