The Geography Department



White Nothe - from Ringstead to Swyre Head, Dorset   April 2006




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

5 April 2006



Ringstead from the  National Trust (free) car park with the view over to Portland in the centre. As this piece of sea has been selected for the sailing elements of the 2012 Olympics, I should imagine all such venues will be crowded out with spectators. The temperature is 1 deg. C in a biting wind!

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The Ringstead amphitheatre, with  a depression containing ...


... South Down Farm, within a possible landslip feature.


Holworth House overlooks Ringstead and the beach.

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The South West Coast Path climbs above Ringstead along the cliff top above a coastline that is beset by landslides. Ringstead can still be seen as the path climbs to the east.

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Black Head, cliffs towards the west and Weymouth.


Mobile flows spill over the beach.


A chalk outlier or remnant block emerges from vegetation above the Burning Cliffs.

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More blocks of chalk emerge as the climb to White Nothe, at about 150 metres, nears its end.




The remains of old landslides litter the shoreline as arcs


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White Nothe from the Coast Path; a mixture of crumbling chalk and thin grass cover. A beach has built up almost to the headland itself.

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White Nothe from 'The Warren' on the way down to 'Middle Bottom', with a detail of the debris being eroded from a cliff fall.

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More of the beach and erosion details to the east of White Nothe.


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At the western end of the beach there appears to be an isolated pillar of chalk, perhaps block-glide may be in evidence?

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'Middle Bottom' and White Nothe.


Just off the beach the chalk debris is being broken up by wave action.


Furrowed walkways lead down to 'Middle Bottom'.

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A truly inspiring coastline, towards Durdle Door from Swyre Head. The variety of landforms on the Purbeck coast is staggering.

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Back to White Nothe and Weymouth beyond.


Eastwards into an early-morning sun.


Looking from Bat's Head eastwards to Swyre Head and then Durdle Door.

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Swyre Head shows up to the east, with cliffs, beaches, stacks, arches and gullies!


Gullies or rills have been etched in the chalk along the cliff top.


The stack has two companions, not easy to see but detectable.

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Durdle Door and the beach that links it to Bat's Head.


A detail from Bat's Head. Swyre Head just shows on the left.


A detail of vertical chalk strata, planed off at beach level by the sea.

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You actually descend to Bat's Head, with this impressive stretch of cliffs to the west. The detail on the right shows continuing erosion in the form of a wave-cut cave.

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The left-hand pair of photos show a block of chalk that is detaching itself from the headland, and will, in time, provide a significant fall.


Bat's Head down to the stack.

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Strand lines on the beach, and above the work of rabbits etching into a layer of material softer and more friable than the predominant chalk - possibly an ancient debris flow.

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From Swyre Head to Bat's Head, with it cliffs, arch and stacks.

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Bat's Hole is flanked by more views of the stack system (why is a bay?) and stumps beyond. The stumps are termed 'The Calf','The Cow', 'The Blind Cow' and 'The Bull'. I tend to think of them in glacial terms - as 'growlers'.

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Scratchy bottom is currently filled with sheep!



The good condition of gates and signs indicate the importance of the area in walking terms.


Behind Ringstead Bay a herd of Friesians graze improved pasture - not a common sight nowadays.

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A curious monument along the footpath back.


A dry valley leads from the cliffs north to West Chaldon.


The thin chalk soil.

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Back to Ringstead and the magnificent view over to the Isle of Portland. After three hours of pounding the temperature had got up to 8 deg.C!

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