Dorset: Jurassic Holidays

Day One

We arrived in Dorset late afternoon, leaving us little time to explore. After we set up (we’re camping!) we decided to go down to Studland Bay for the first time in a few years. I can tell you I’m glad I had my woolly hat, scarf and gloves because it was positively freezing. It wasn’t necessarily the temperature that made it cold, it was the howling wind turning our noses red. It was cold. But, we stuck it out and wandered along the seafront shivering despite all the layers we wore. The waves looked angry and the sky was grey, but still we trekked on, in the typical British style.

The beach has no sea defences, meaning it’s subject to rapid coastal erosion. The waves are eating away at the coastline at a scary rate. As you can see in the pictures, the sand has been washed away, leaving tree roots hanging out. This was also interesting because it showed how important vegetation roots are in terms of holding sand dunes together.

All along the seafront stood closed up beach huts. The rusty locks quivered in the gale and the huts just looked sad and weathered. I would be terrified to own one there, considering how quickly the beach is being eaten up. Especially with the lack of sea defences and human management to slow the rate of erosion.

However, there was an aspect of human management along the beach. There were small embryo dunes running parallel to the beach huts which were all fenced off. The dunes looked very flat and there was some marram grass, which looked a bit defeated by the wind. I suppose they’re fenced off so they can recover from being trampled in the summer by tourists. Maybe they’ll be fenced off for a few years because these dunes are very fragile and can be destroyed easily.

We then moved away from the beach, more to shelter ourselves from the wind than anything else, and wandered up by the woodland. Here we saw a row of large concrete blocks, each about 4-5 foot tall. I later found out that these were called Dragon’s Teeth and prevented German invasion during WW2. They acted as a war defence in an area where invasion was possible. They are odd looking things, especially when you don’t know what they are!



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