Fossil Forest Welcome Hub

Project Updates

October 2018

Improvement works to protect the site and reconstruct the steps are now confirmed to be carried out when the ranges are open over Easter and Summer 2019:

  • April - MOD to carry out an Exploded Ordnance Clearance (EOC) before any construction work takes place on site.
  • 8th April – Vertical Technologies Ltd to net the existing rock face next to the steps with a catch fence fitted to protect the steps.
  • April – Dorset Highways to start fixing posts and rails at the top section of the steps.
  • July-August – Dorset Highways to continue fixing posts and rails and complete reconstruction of the steps by 3rd September.
  • August – interpretation installation.

The proposed plan of the new steps to access to Fossil Forest can be viewed here.


July 2018

A significant rockfall in March 2018 has caused delays. A joint decision has been made by stakeholders to net the rock and install a catch fence. The MoD will need to carry out an Exploded Ordnance Clearance Final before this work takes place. Due to these unforeseen delays, the reconstruction of the steps and railings are now due to take place when the ranges are open during Easter and Summer 2019, with a reopening thereafter.

Project Background

Fossil Forest is an important geological site on the Jurassic coast located east of Lulworth Cove. This rocky ledge known as Fossil Forest shows exposed evidence of a forest which grew here around 145 million years ago, when the Jurassic period drew to a close and sea levels were falling. Shallow tropical seas gave way to coastal plains and for a brief period a forest grew here. Strange rounded shapes can be seen at the Fossil Forest known as 'algal burrs' which are the fossilised remains of where the tree trunks once stood.

The Fossil Forest Welcome Hub project aims to repair the steps leading from the South West Coast Path National Trail to the Fossil Forest. Access to the Fossil Forest is currently closed following a rock fall in 2015 that damaged the steps leading down from the Coast Path onto the rock shelf area of the Fossil Forest. The Coast Path is unaffected and this section can still be walked when the ranges are open.

Repairing and reopening the access steps to the Fossil Forest is part of the ‘Coastal Connections - people and places’ project funded by the Coastal Communities Fund, and will receive £120,000 towards its costs from this successful bid, granted in April 2017. The remainder of the funding, around £52,000 is being provided by Lulworth Estate, Ministry of Defence and Dorset County Council. The project partner leading on this project is Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty/Jurassic Coast Trust.

The Fossil Forest forms a fundamental part of the Jurassic Coast's walk through time story. Access to the site, new interpretation and information about the Fossil Forest will also be installed to allow people the opportunity to enjoy, explore and learn from this special part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.

Construction work started in August 2017 to start making the area safer but ongoing works will be limited to only being carried out when the Ministry of Defence ranges are open.





Project Updates

October 2018

Improvement works to protect the site and reconstruct the steps are now confirmed to be carried out when the ranges are open over Easter and Summer 2019:

  • April - MOD to carry out an Exploded Ordnance Clearance (EOC) before any construction work takes place on site.
  • 8th April – Vertical Technologies Ltd to net the existing rock face next to the steps with a catch fence fitted to protect the steps.
  • April – Dorset Highways to start fixing posts and rails at the top section of the steps.
  • July-August – Dorset Highways to continue fixing posts and rails and complete reconstruction of the steps by 3rd September.
  • August – interpretation installation.

The proposed plan of the new steps to access to Fossil Forest can be viewed here.


July 2018

A significant rockfall in March 2018 has caused delays. A joint decision has been made by stakeholders to net the rock and install a catch fence. The MoD will need to carry out an Exploded Ordnance Clearance Final before this work takes place. Due to these unforeseen delays, the reconstruction of the steps and railings are now due to take place when the ranges are open during Easter and Summer 2019, with a reopening thereafter.

Project Background

Fossil Forest is an important geological site on the Jurassic coast located east of Lulworth Cove. This rocky ledge known as Fossil Forest shows exposed evidence of a forest which grew here around 145 million years ago, when the Jurassic period drew to a close and sea levels were falling. Shallow tropical seas gave way to coastal plains and for a brief period a forest grew here. Strange rounded shapes can be seen at the Fossil Forest known as 'algal burrs' which are the fossilised remains of where the tree trunks once stood.

The Fossil Forest Welcome Hub project aims to repair the steps leading from the South West Coast Path National Trail to the Fossil Forest. Access to the Fossil Forest is currently closed following a rock fall in 2015 that damaged the steps leading down from the Coast Path onto the rock shelf area of the Fossil Forest. The Coast Path is unaffected and this section can still be walked when the ranges are open.

Repairing and reopening the access steps to the Fossil Forest is part of the ‘Coastal Connections - people and places’ project funded by the Coastal Communities Fund, and will receive £120,000 towards its costs from this successful bid, granted in April 2017. The remainder of the funding, around £52,000 is being provided by Lulworth Estate, Ministry of Defence and Dorset County Council. The project partner leading on this project is Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty/Jurassic Coast Trust.

The Fossil Forest forms a fundamental part of the Jurassic Coast's walk through time story. Access to the site, new interpretation and information about the Fossil Forest will also be installed to allow people the opportunity to enjoy, explore and learn from this special part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.

Construction work started in August 2017 to start making the area safer but ongoing works will be limited to only being carried out when the Ministry of Defence ranges are open.