Purbeck Coast

Quick facts

  • European Diploma of Protected Areas (code UK940005)
  • Since 1984
  • Country: United Kingdom
  • Administrative region: Not available
  • Surface area: 700 km2 (70000.00 ha)
  • Marine area: Not available

Source and more information: Council of Europe


Site contact authorities

Information Dorset County Council County Hall Dorchester DT1 1XJ
Official contact international  
Official contact national  
Official contact regional  
Official contact local  


General character of the site Purbeck is a 40-kilometre stretch of coast on the English Channel between Weymouth and Bournemouth. The landscape is extremely diversified, with spectacular cliffs, dunes, islands and mesothermophilous meadows. It is subject to a wide variety of statutory controls operated by different bodies. 
Quality The Purbeck Coast is defined as 'Heritage Coast', and is part of the large Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It contains 3 major Heathland National Nature Reserves, and numerous Sites of Special Scientific Importance. 
Vulnerability A number of operative or planned gas and oil exploration sites are established within nature reserves. There are Ministry of Defence firing ranges; also leisure and recreation facilities, such as the Durdle Door camping site. 
Owner Mainly private, but with large estates owned by the National Trust, RSPB, and Ministry of Defence. 
Documentation Council of Europe (1984), Purbeck Heritage Coast, United Kingdom, Strasbourg, 20 p. 
Habitat types  
Potential vegetation  
Geomorphology Of outstanding interest, centring on the famous Lulworth Cove and adjacent coastline. 
Educational interest The Purbeck Coast is well used by educational groups, particularly for its rich geological and geomorphologic interest. Visitor centres at Lulworth, Kimmeridge, Durlston and Studland are used by education groups as well as the public. 
Cultural heritage Purbeck's archaeological heritage is of outstanding interest, as evidence of human activity can be traced back for many thousand of years: Iron Age fortifications, Roman sites, Norman churches and villages with mediaeval houses. 
Management plan  
URL official http://www.purbeck-dc.gov.uk/ 
URL interesting  

European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Phone: +45 3336 7100