Dorset and East Devon Coast


Heritage Category: World Heritage Site

List Entry Number: 1000101

Date first listed: 2001

Date of most recent amendment: 2010


Ordnance survey map of Dorset and East Devon Coast
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The cliff exposures along the Dorset and East Devon coast provide an almost continuous sequence of rock formations spanning the Mesozoic Era, or some 185 million years of the earth's history. The area's important fossil sites and classic coastal geomorphologic features have contributed to the study of earth sciences for over 300 years.

This site is also known as The Jurassic Coast and is England's only natural World Heritage Site. Its coordinates are N50 42 20 W2 59 23.6 and it measures 2,550 hectares.

There is a World Heritage Site Management Plan for the World Heritage Site (2009) and implementation of the objectives and action plan is undertaken by a World Heritage Site team in Dorset County Council. A Steering Group made up of key stakeholders oversees World Heritage activities.


This entry is compiled from information provided by UNESCO who hold the official record for all World Heritage Sites at their Paris Head Quarters. This entry is provided for information only and those requiring further assistance should contact the World Heritage Centre at UNESCO.

Criterion (viii): The coastal exposures along the Dorset and East Devon coast provide an almost continuous sequence of Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous rock formations spanning the Mesozoic Era and document approximately 185 million years of Earth's history. The property includes a range of globally significant fossil localities - both vertebrate and invertebrate, marine and terrestrial - which have produced well preserved and diverse evidence of life during Mesozoic times. It also contains textbook exemplars of coastal geomorphological features, landforms and processes. Renowned for its contribution to Earth science investigations for over 300 years, the Dorset and East Devon coast has helped foster major contributions to many aspects of geology, palaeontology and geomorphology and has continuing significance as a high quality teaching, training and research resource for the Earth sciences.

End of official listing