Thursday, 27 October 2011

Dancing Ledge


A spectacular area named after the rocky ledge of the former quarry on the outskirts of  Langton Matravers.

In Spring the chalk downs above the seacliffs are home to 75% of the UK population of Early Spider Orchids, in addition it’s the most southerly breeding location of Puffins, the first point of arrival for many of our Summer migrants and later in the year the departure point (see the online diary at the adjacent Durlston Country Park for an idea of what’s around), home to  Roe Deer, Common and European Wall Lizards, Adders, Greater Horseshoe Bats, Peregrines, fossilised Palm trees and rock pools full of sponges, anemones, prawns and fish.

The NT owned Eastington Quarry on the western side of the headland is also well worth exploring especially for reptiles.


Rockpool at Dancing Ledge, Langton Matravers.

Blenny sp. and Beadlet Anemone’s.

I’m not too sure what these orange blobs are but the central opening suggests they’re a type of sponge possibly Suberites carnosus.
Snakelock Anemone’s at Dancing Ledge. Unlike many of the other common Anemone’s the Snakelock is unable to draw its tentacles back in therefore its typically found in the deeper water.

Steps down to Dancing Ledge. Note: the lower ledge on the far right of the photo can only be reached at low tide.

DSC_7120Early Spider Orchid taken earlier this year on the 4th May 

Fossilised base of a Jurassic palm tree. Note: there’s also a fossiled forest just east of Lulworth Cove on a MOD firing range - normally accessible on weekends at low tide. One for our next visit down South.

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