The Geography Department


Lulworth Cove




Chapman's Pool

Chesil Beach - 1998 storms  August 2000  April 2006  April 2007

Corfe Castle


Durdle Door - April 2006  April 2007



Furzy Cliffs


Kimmeridge Bay


Lulworth Cove  Colchester VIth Form College AS Fieldwork Oct 2001

Lulworth Cove  4 April 2007 am.

Lulworth Cove  4 April 2007 pm.


Old Harry Rocks

Old Harry Rocks April 2006


Osmington Mills



Swanage beach and cliffs


West Bay harbour engineering works Feb 2004

West Bay harbour defence works, October 2004

West Bay, harbour and cliffs, August 2005

White Nothe April 2006






Colchester VI th Form College Geography AS Fieldwork   October 2001



Durdle Door path photos are arranged East - West. 

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GR823802 A general view of Lulworth village.  The main street follows the curve of the spring line along the foot of Bindon Hill (chalk).  The present day dominance of tourism is obvious from the hotels and car park.




GR824800 The Heritage Centre provides general information and excellent talks by the wardens based there.  The newer barn-style building is tucked behind the shop, and is less obvious from most angles.


GR824800  Lulworth car park on a September Friday midday.  The tourist motorway is the path to Durdle Door, used by around 200,000 walkers each year.  The nearest fields are overflow car parks

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One of the requirements of European Heritage status was that eyesores such as the car park had to be hidden more.  The landowner is normally responsible for carrying out the work.




GR820804 The stone pitching on the path to Durdle Door.  The work took two summers, and should be reasonably maintenance-free for decades, as it uses local limestone.



Even on a weekday at the end of September the Durdle Door path is heavily used by the public and school parties.

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This looks like path erosion, but the majority of damage is done by cattle, in wet weather, at this point.







GR819803 This is the alternative path used in 2000.  One year's wear shows the pressure of trampling on chalk ecosystems.  The hurdles are to screen it from sight from below, so people do not use it, until the grass covers the scars.


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The Geographical classic!  The limestone wall on the edge of the sea, covered in woodland in the foreground.  The valley marks where soft rocks underlie the fields, and the chalk ridge can be seen disappearing towards Old Harry.  Lulworth Cove and Stair Hole are on the right.  Many clues about the economy and ecology are visible.




GR815803 The uphill end of the stone pitching.  The old path is cut right through the soil, into the bedrock.  The fence controls walkers and cattle!


For some reason, the path shows much less wear at this point

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Less wear on the path, but the view now includes a caravan site on the skyline - another subject for screening if Lulworth is to keep the European Award status.




GR811803 The double stile and massive wear suggest few have turned back before this point


Another classic viewpoint.  Here stone sills create shallow steps to protect and define the path.

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This coast is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, at first sight little sign of tourist development.


Durdle Door ridge and Bat's Head. This track is partly made up for vehicles, and comes from the large hilltop caravan and camping site.  Extra trampling to the sides show it is even more used than the main coast path which joins from the left. This trampling is a major management issue on the Heritage Coast.




The estate which owns the land has recently set up a refreshment van.  Welcome to trippers, but unsightly.  There have been problems with trampling, litter, and noise from the generator.  The van is now parked further back from the viewpoints than it was.

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More trampling.  The width of the trampled area, and the deep paths down the hill from the caravan site show how intensively the holidaymakers use this route.  The fence is to prevent short cuts to the beach, which would lead to trampling on the steep clay slope above the bays.




GR807803 A good view of the unstable clay/sand slopes.  The Heritage Coast wardens have put in a lot of work to make the steps wide and stable enough for the weight of visitor numbers to this pleasant beach.



The sheltered beach, and wave refraction.

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Durdle Door, Dorset. Yet another study being done of this remarkably striking coastline.


On this Friday afternoon at least five educational groups were in the area


GR805803 A similar situation on the other side of the ridge.  Clay is especially difficult to manage, and this path is even more heavily used, as it leads to the Durdle Door beach.  An informal path gives away how popular it is to scramble to the crest of the limestone, even though the area is fenced off!



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Durdle Door, Dorset


Rough fence to allow regeneration


Wear at the top of the cliff by Durdle Door.  The noticeboard is rather dominant.  The path wear west towards Weymouth is much less obvious.



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Bat's Head and Swyre Head.  Almost no sign of path wear on these.




Back to the car park, late afternoon


Stair Hole

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Stair Hole.  The coastguard hut on the top has slipped away



Surfaced path between popular viewpoints, and the clay.


Stair Hole, clay slumping

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Lulworth Cove


Lulworth Cove.  Paths continue through the ranges (derelict farm and red flag)




The village pond, fed by springs

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Many businesses open for the summer season only


GR824799 What visitors want - scenery, souvenirs, sunshine, and a cafe.  The path up Bindon Hill starts with the steps




West side Lulworth Cove