IQ Blog

95 miles of coastline…185 million years of history

[fa icon="calendar"] Nov 4, 2016 9:39:31 AM / by Dave Tebbutt


Looking back on National Minerals Week got me thinking about the fascinating stories rocks can tell us from the worlds history, charting climate and environmental change over millions of years. They can uncover a story of vast deserts, tropical seas, lush swamps and ancient forests.

As the only natural geological site in England, the Jurassic Coast is an awe inspiring example of this, stretching from Exmouth in East Devon to Studland in Dorset. The site stretches for 95 miles and takes you on a walk through time with rocks from the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.

This coastline is also the only place in the world where 185 million years of the Earth’s history are sequentially exposed, giving us awe inspiring views of dramatic cliff tops, secluded coves and barrier beaches.

It’s amazing how something that seems so simple on first glance can open up a whole window of insight into a time when humans didn’t exist and a whole different ecosystem flourished.

As a site of outstanding international importance, the Jurassic Coast was awarded World Heritage Site status in December 2001 by UNESCO  (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) because of its outstanding Earth Science interest, which helps to protect this site for future generations.

With every part of this coastline having its own story to tell even if it’s just a fleeting visit, there is plenty to see and get involved in whatever the time of year, you can discover more at

Topics: IQ

Dave Tebbutt

Written by Dave Tebbutt