Wonderful Worbarrow Bay
Dr Anjana Ford of the Jurassic Coast Trust shares a geological gem.
“One of the Jurassic Coast’s lesser known geological gems is Worbarrow Bay in Purbeck. The rocks here are tilted spectacularly, offering a snapshot of the tremendous geological forces that shape our world. They’re part of the Purbeck monocoline, a gigantic geological fold that is related to the formation of the Alps, when Africa smashed into Europe and the forces rippled out for thousands of miles.
The variety of rocks at Worbarrow Bay reveals how sea levels changed over millions of years. The limestones here were formed in swamps and lagoons patrolled by dinosaurs - geologists have found evidence of dinosaur footprints in these rocks! The bay’s clays and sandstones tell us that sea levels then rose, creating an environment of rivers. Sea levels continued to rise to become oceans, where billions of microscopic algae lived and died, falling to the seabed to become fossilised in what we know as chalk.
A trip to Worbarrow Bay is a lovely family day out. You can park at Tyneham village all day for £2, and the path to the beach is smooth and stroller-friendly. It’s one of my favourite places to visit on the Jurassic Coast.
'The limestones here were formed in swamps and lagoonspatrolled by dinosaurs'
Dr Anjana f Ford