399. The Jurassic Coast: A World-Class Coast - Part 1
In 2001, the Dorset and East Devon coast (the Jurassic Coast) was designated as a natural World Heritage Site. UNESCO is responsible for approving natural and cultural sites of global significance worldwide, using ten criteria. The Jurassic Coast met criteria VIII: “an outstanding example representing major stages of earth's history, including the record of life, significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features”. The 155km stretch of coast from Exmouth in the west to Studland Bay in the east provides an almost continuous sequence of rock formations through the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, covering 185 million years of the Mesozoic era. Due to this and its classic coastal geomorphological landforms such as Lulworth Cove and Chesil Beach, it has been studied extensively.
Two Geo Factsheets will focus on the Jurassic Coast: this Factsheet will concentrate on its SMP and policy units, devised in response to erosion and flood risk, and the following Factsheet will focus on the spectacular rocky coast that draws tourists, and will examine how this linear site is managed as a World Heritage site.
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