Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Dancing Ledge

A great area of chalk downland managed by the National Trust next to the SW Coast Path  -close to Langton Matravers.

Beneath the downland this part of the “Jurassic Coast” has a long history of quarrying. Although originally this must have been an incredibly destructive nowadays the former quarries are now valuable for their wildlife.

Wall Brown 

Adder (male 

Somebody once told me they can jump, as per a coiled spring. Although I wasn’t convinced I decide not too get too close – just in case.

If you select the photo you may be able to make out the Adder tasting the air.
Fortunately the Adder decided I didn’t “taste” like a mouse or vole so it lost interest and slithered away.

Nothing lasts for ever - Old quarry machinery, Langton Matravers 

Normally this field is home to the largest colony of Early Spider Orchids in the country. This year there wasn’t any to be found. Hopefully this was down to the lack of rainfall rather than the presence of Daisy

Dancing Ledge

Note the quarries cut into the side of the cliffs. Historically boats would have been loaded up with the Purbeck limestone and and floated off the ledge at high tide. Most of the stone was used in the expansion of London.

The quarries are now roosts for Greater Horseshoe Bats. Above the cliffs the numerous rabbit holes form part of the most southerly colony of Puffins in the UK.

Rockpool on Dancing Ledge

Snakeslock Anemones in a former post hole

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