What is the future for our fossils? That is the question gnawing at Richard Edmonds, who this summer quit as the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site’s Earth Science Manager.
This walk on the National Trust’s Golden Cap estate includes two saints, an abandoned village and a detour to West Dorset’s unofficial nudist beach.
A confetti of red admirals, peacocks and small tortoiseshells spiralling around buddleia bushes on a hot, sultry afternoon is one of the classic sights of British summertime.
And thankfully, this display is not such an unusual spectacle in our region. In comparison to other parts of the UK, we are relatively blessed with butterflies.
Our dramatic coast, ancient meadows, unspoilt heathland and chalk downs are amongst the richest butterfly habitats in the British Isles.
West Dorset, South Somerset and East Devon boast some of our rarest and most spectacular species, from the hyperactive Lulworth skipper, the sapphire flash of the Adonis blue to the chequerboard beauty of the marsh fritillary.
But this summer it is the more widespread and easy to spot species that will be the focus of nature lovers’ attention as the world’s largest butterfly survey — the Big Butterfly Count gets under way across the UK.
How does a gee-whizz gardener, used to managing a famous space of several acres, adapt to retirement and a smaller plot of land?
Length: about 6 miles • Time: three hours • Terrain: Steepish climbs and descents on tracks that can get muddy; walking on shingle. Sturdy footwear required.
Discover a lovely village once a centre of power for prosperous medieval monks; explore a dramatic prehistoric hill fort; enjoy unsurpassed views of the Jurassic Coast and crunch along the geological phenomenon of Chesil beach.