Costal area - Dorset case study

Dorset is located on the south west coast of England. It is often described as The Jurassic Coast and is a World Heritage Site. It stretches a distance of about 96 miles (154 km), and was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2001. The site spans 185 million years of geological history, coastal erosion having exposed an almost continuous sequence of rock formation.

Land uses in Dorset

Water sports

A coastline provides numerous areas where people can participate in a variety of different water sports. These include swimming, water skiing, windsurfing and yachting along the coast, in sheltered bays and lagoons.


Military training takes place along many coastlines, eg the South West Coast footpath runs through Lulworth (army) Range.

Historic Attractions

The Dorset coast has a number of historic attractions which bring visitors to the area. These include Corfe Castle, Thomas Hardy's cottage and a number of historic ruins.

Costal footpaths

The area along the Dorset coast has many coastal footpaths where walkers can enjoy the stunning and varied scenery of the region. The South West Coast long distance footpath for example, passes along cliffs where they will see caves, arches and stacks and bays with sandy beaches. Landscape features which tourists come to see include Lulworth Cove, Durdle Door, Old Harry and Tilly Whim Caves.


The coastlines have varied wildlife due to the variety of landscapes that are formed here such as sand dunes, lagoons, salt flats and calm bays. Durlston Head is famous for bird watching, whilst Brownsea Island Nature Reserve is home to red squirrel and wildfowl.