Beach Live: Jurassic Coast Revealed

Ep 2/3

Wednesday 18 July



What do smugglers, rope makers and sunken tanks have in common? They’re all part of the industrial heritage of the Jurassic Coast, and in tonight’s episode Dan Snow and the team investigate - live - the rich history of our beaches and what people visiting should look out for.

There are over 300 shipwrecks in Lyme Bay alone, from old galleons to submarines. Dan dives 15 metres deep in the Channel to discover the story behind some of the more unusual vessels - top secret WW2 tanks that sank in a D-Day landings rehearsal known as Exercise Smash.

Dan joins divers who are carrying out an underwater survey to map these tanks in time for the 75th anniversary. While they are down there, will they encounter the conger eels or cuttlefish who now call these tanks home?

Plus Dan travels to the Midlands for an exclusive interview with Albert Price, who is thought to be the last remaining survivor of the operation. He tells his side of that extraordinary story.

Beach Live also has privileged access to a huge coastal quarry to find out why Portland stone has been used for historic buildings all over the world, and how it is removed from the ground today. And beyond the importance of the stone, the programme follows families of peregrines and little owls that live in these rock faces. How have they fared in this scorching summer?

The Dorset coast was rife with smugglers for centuries and Lucy Cooke looks into how the smuggling trade worked and asks if these bandits were baddies - or local heroes.

At the Discovery Centre, Niall Strawson and a panel of experts examine and assess the significance of historical beach finds from all over the country.

A How To guide shows viewers how to beachcomb, and people all over the country share their finds and photos.