Classic coastal landform 5 – Old Harry Rocks

This rivals Durdle Door as a favourite for schools in England, perhaps all of the United Kingdom. One of the pictures is the classic view from on top of the cliffs showing the succession in headland erosion – enlarged joints, cave, arch, stack, stump. The other is from the sea ( look out for the kayaker to give scale) looking at the cliff face with Old Harry on the extreme right. Below is a link to a 4 minute BBC Bitesize video explaining all about the processes and landforms. Old Harry chalk cliffs and stacks, Dorset, England

The Pinnacle stack, near Old Harry Rocks, Ballard Point, Dorset, England

BBC Bitesize video clip

Straw bales in a field

I thought I’d have a break from coastal landforms and post about a sale today.

“Straw bales in a field at Boyton, Suffolk, England, UK”


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Classic coastal landform 04 – Durdle Door

Probably the most famous coastal landform in Britain? Durdle Door natural arch.

Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door, Dorset coast, England

Durdle Door is formed from a layer of Portland limestone standing almost vertically out in the sea. Normally layers of limestone would be horizontal. Only the most fundamental force in geology could have altered these rocks in this way – plate tectonics.

Here is all the geological detail from Ian West, Southampton University b


Classic coastal landform 03 – a beach

Still images are very powerful because by their nature they provide a moment frozen in time. Such an image can’t help but provoke questions. Where, what, why and all the others…

Unlike moving footage there is no before and no after just the actual moment which we try to make sense of.

In geography education we want to develop enquiry – and this is precisely what a still image does. What do children make of this coastal scene south of Orford Ness at Bawdsey in Suffolk?


In the distance there is an old gun emplacement from the 1940s which is blocking the movement of shingle downshore especially immediately next to it. Closer to the foreground the beach is much wider and just look at the difference it is making to erosion of the cliffs.

The pill boxes  and other remnants of wartime defences identify the approximate position of the coastline in the 1940s.

The exposed rock wave cut platform is London Clay.

Classic coastal landform 02- a tombolo

Chesil beach joins the mainland to the Isle of Portland  – that’s a landform called a tombolo i.e.) when an island is joined to the land by the deposition of beach sediment.

“It is one of three major coarse clastic (shingle/gravel) structures on the British coast and is unique in being a linear barrier beach whilst the others (Dungeness and Orford Ness) exhibit cuspate development.”

And there is much more of this intelligent stuff here: