Our outdoor space is the region from East Devon in the east to the Isle of Wight in the west, and the superb coastline of Dorset in-between. Geologists call this region the Wessex-Channel Basin. It has a superb variety of Mesozoic and Cenozoic sedimentary rocks and fossils and is a world-class learning and research centre.

Monmouth Beach, looking east to Lyme Regis, Stonebarrow and Golden Cap

The diverse geology, which ranges from the Permo-Triassic to Quaternary, represents more than 200 million years of geological time and many different ancient environments that ranged from arid deserts to subtropical seas. The international importance of the geology and geomorphology of the region was recognised in 2001, with the award of World Heritage status to the 95 miles of coast between Exmouth in south-east Devon, and Studland in south Dorset.

Geology of south Dorset and south-east Devon and its World Heritage Coast. Special Memoir of the British Geological Survey, 2011.