Jurassic Coast Arts
The Jurassic Coast is culturally unique and creatively inspirational. The geological, scientific and environmental interest of the coast and its beauty as a place to live, relax and find inspiration is a powerful mix.
The Dorset and East Devon Coast World Heritage Site, also known as the Jurassic Coast, is a 95 mile length of the South West Coast from Exmouth to Studland. Awarded this status by UNESCO in 2001, the Jurassic Coast WHS (which comprises the undeveloped cliffs and beaches) connects the sea with the broader countryside and its social and cultural heritage.
The wider World Heritage Coast area includes the towns, villages and countryside which provide the essential infrastructure for the local people who live on the coast and the people who visit it. It is loosely defined as stretching from the A35 southward and is bounded by the towns of Honiton, Axminster, Dorchester and Wareham. The 'Anchor Towns' of Bournemouth, Poole and Exeter contain important resources and audiences for the arts.
Arts Programme: Rock and the Arts
The process of gaining designation as a World Heritage Site involved more than eighty stake-holders along the coast, who during the process began to question what it is that makes people interested in the story of the coast and the rocks which form it. Gaining the status of global significance drew attention to communities right along the coast that they live somewhere special, but begged the question 'what does this actually mean to me?'
The World Heritage Site is 95 miles long, and the exposed rocks from one end to the other contain 185 million years of earth history. There are, then, a lot of stories to be told. The Arts Programme will assist with telling some of these stories, and creating new ones inspired by the beauty and meaning of the coast. It is expected that this will be achieved by enabling individuals and organisations to develop new arts projects, events and festivals or to adapt existing projects and programmes so that they are genuinely linked to the WHS.
The Jurassic Coast - Arts (opens in a new window) programme and strategy can provides further information.