Talk - 15 February 2022 - Every rock has a history, every fossil tells a story

Event date: 
15th February 2022

Tuesday, 15 February 2022


Masonic Hall, Budleigh Salterton


The Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site - Lessons from The Past - 'Every rock has;a history, every fossil tells a story'


In 2001 UNESCO officially designated the land stretching from Orcombe Point at Exmouth, Devon, to Studland Bay in Dorset as a World Heritage Site. This means it has been globally recognised as having Outstanding Universal Value in relation to The Natural History of the Earth and its Processes.  

The rocks that make up this extensive stretch of coastline and the fossils contained within, when interpreted correctly, offer us a high-definition narrative of the events and processes that have taken place over a period of some 186 million years of geological time. Charles Lyell's Principles of Geology (published between 1830-1833) introduced the famous maxim, ‘The present is the key to the past'. Today, with the insight we now have in relation to the geology of the Jurassic Coast, perhaps it is highly appropriate that we now ask the question ‘Is the past the key to both the present and future?’

The intention of this illustrated talk by Chris Woodward, Jurassic Coast Ambassador, is to put this immense stretch of time in to something that is, at least in part comprehensible, as well as highlighting key elements from each of the geological periods that distinguish them from each other. Accompanying the above will be a selection of rock and fossil specimens that are material examples from across this expanse of time.

It is important to state that this talk is most certainly not aimed at a specialist audience level but more specifically at individuals with a general interest in the World Heritage Site who also wish to find out a little more about the what’s, why’s, when’s and how’s of its past and the probable relevance of this to the future of life on this planet…...and all within an hour!