Sunday, 25 May 2014

Day 7: Wistman's Wood/Dartmoor

Today we went to Wistman's Wood/Dartmoor/Devon, to be exact.
We trekked across a path just above a stream, and walked past a farm.
when we finally got to Wistman's Wood we could see that there is no actual path just moss and lichen covered trees and rocks. I think having no path just made it all the better because I've always liked going off the path, and I like climbing over rocks, so it just made it even more fun. And it just added to the spookiness of the forest, because legend has it, that of you stay in the forest after dark the Devils Wist Hounds will come and find you......

Well anyway, on the trees, hanging everywhere, and trust me when I say everywhere, because I mean EVERYWHERE, there are little tiny caterpillars hanging from silk threads.
As we were walking we stopped because we heard a cuckoo, which apparently is a critically   endangered species of bird.

I mean come on, can this place get any cooler, there's no path just rocks you have to climb over, there's a spooky legend behind it, there's little caterpillars that hang from silk threads AND there's a critically endangered species of bird.

When we finally got out of the woodland, we walked up to a Tor called Longaford Tor, and let me tell you, it was absolutely blowing a gale up at the top! We then followed the ridge line back climbing over a few rocks and boulders along the way.
All in all, it was a great day!

Well that was the end of week one, I wonder where the adventure will take us next week......  

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Day 6: Bellever Forest

We went to a place called Bellever forest in Dartmoor today. On the way there we saw some semi-wild pony's whom are let out by there owners, the farmers, to graze most of the year.

We trekked through the woodland which was muddy and wet but doable. We came across some fallen trees blocking the path and had to climb over it, and had to give a running jump for the ten year old German Shepherd dog. 

Once we got out of the wooded area we saw some more pony's.You can also see Bellever Tor which we hiked up to. The walk/hike up to the Tor was a bit wet, because it was like a marsh land, only because it had been raining that day.

When we got to the Tor we climbed up to the top where we found a triangulation point (trig point for short). 
It was rainy and really windy on top of the Tor but the view was great. And we sheltered under some rocks for a bit.

Well that was are first tree infested day, I wonder if we will be seeing any more woodland tomorrow.......  

Friday, 23 May 2014


Molluscs belonging to the class Cephalopoda and the order Sepiida, they are most closely related to squid, octopuses and nautiluses. With eight arms, two tentacles with denticulated suckers used for securing prey and large W-shaped pupils and being named for their unique internal shell, the cuttlebone. They generally range in size from 15-25cm, while the largest species, Sepia apama, can reach 50cm in mantle length and over 10.5kg in mantle weight.

Cuttlefish have the one of the largest brain-to-body size ratios in the world and recent studies show them to be amongst the most intelligent invertebrates. Eating other cuttlefish, small molluscs, crabs, shrimp, fish, octopuses and worms. Their predators include dolphins, shark, fish, seals, sea birds and other cuttlefish. Their life expectancy is generally one to two years.

The cuttlebone that cuttlefish are so famous for is a porous structure formed of aragonite, that provides the cuttlefish with buoyancy, which it regulates by altering the gas-to-liquid ratio in the chambered cuttlebone with the ventral siphuncle.

Often referred to as the chameleons of the sea, cuttlefish have the remarkable ability to change the colour and texture of their skin to communicate with other cuttlefish, camouflage themselves and as a deimatic display to warn off potential predators. This colour changing ability is produced by groups of blue, red, yellow, black and brown pigmented chromatophores above a layer of reflective iridophores and leucophores. With up to 200 of these specialized pigment cells per square millimeter, this would be equivalent to about 359DPI if they were individually controlled.

Even though they lack the ability to perceive colour, cuttlefish are able to rapidly change the colour of their skin to match their surroundings, even in complete darkness, through some mechanism which is not yet understood.

The Greco-Roman world valued cuttlefish for the unique brown pigment which they release when attacked, which they called sepia, a word still used in modern english to refer to a brown pigment. The cuttlebone on the other hand was traditionally used by jewellers and silversmiths as moulds for small objects, and more recently as a source of dietary calcium for parakeets and other caged birds.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Day 4: Ringstead Bay

We went to a place called Ringstead Bay on this slightly cloudy day. It is also part of a private estate and part of the Jurassic coast.
It is said to hold many fossils, so of course we went fossil hunting :)!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ringstead Bay is made up of sand, pebbles and rocks. To put it bluntly. It's also in the shape of a crescent moon and when the waves crash against the shore and then pull out again you can here the sound of the pebbles falling down after being pushed up by the waves, and I think it is a really cool sound. 

Me and Will found a rock and started chipping away at it, and eventually it fell apart. We are not sure what kind of rock it was but it obviously wasn't very dense and was a softer kind of rock.

Well here we come to the end of our adventure, for today.......

Chesil Beach

Described as a tombolo, research has shown that it is actually a barrier beach which “rolled” landwards. Eventually joining the Isle of the Portland and the mainland giving the appearance of a tombolo.

Against the cliffs of the Isle of Portland on the eastern edge of the beach at the village of Chiswell, the beach curves sharply forming the Chesil cove, which protects the low-lying village from flooding. Westwards the shingle forms a straight line along the coast, enclosing a shallow tidal lagoon called the Fleet.

The Fleet is home to many wading birds, and at Abbotsbury there is a swannery. The only managed colony of nesting Mute Swans in the world. Numbering over 600 swans with approximately 150 breeding pairs. Records of the swannery exist as far back as 1393 AD.

Stretching 10 miles ( or 18 sources differ) long and 40 feet high, the shingle that forms the beach varies form pea-sized at the north-west end to orange-sized at the south-east end. It's said that smugglers who landed on the beach at night, could tell exactly where they were on the beach by the size of the shingle.

During the Second World War the area was chosen, due to the low population density to be one of the testing grounds for the bouncing bomb and machine gun training for Operation Chastise. Many defences were also constructed around the area. Such as anti-tank blocks near Abbotsbury, and on the western side of the beach Admiralty scaffolding, flame fougasse instalations and minefields further inland.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Day 3: Chesil Beach

Today we went to a beach called Chesil Beach.

It was formed over many thousands of years, and is a remarkable bank of shingle that stretches for some ten miles from Abbotsbury to the Isle of Portland. More than forty feet high in some places, this bank creates a remarkable natural breakwater on which the pebbles are inexplicably graded in size from west to east.

I think Chesil Beach is a really cool place, because when you look west from the east end (it's probably the same from both ends the east end is just where we were standing) of the beach it looks like it goes on forever.

We also went to Weymouth.

Well that was are story for today, I wonder what tomorrows story holds?......... 


The area around the village of West Lulworth is a destination, drawing upwards of 500,000 visitors a year. To see the various landforms that can be seen in the area. Such as Lulworth Cove which featured on the 2005 TV series Seven Natural wonders and is famous for it's unique shape, which formed as a result of the alternating bands of rock running parallel to the coastline eroding at different speeds. And wave diffraction, the narrow mouth of the cove (consisting of the more resistant Portland and Purbeck limestone) bends the waves into an arc shape as they enter the wider part of the cove (formed of a wide band of soft clays and greensands).

The nearby Stair hole is an infant cove that suggests what Lulworth Cove would have looked like a hundred thousand years ago. There is a narrow gap in the limestone here, allowing the Sea to erode Wealdon clays behind them, which is eroding very rapidly and shows obvious signs of slumping. Exposed on the eastern side of the Hole is the Lulworth Crumple, one of the best examples of Limestone Folding in the world, caused by movements in the tectonic plates millions of years ago (the formation of the Alps), which forced the layers of rock and sediment on the bottom of the sea floor almost veritical. Similar examples of Limestone Folding can be seen at Lulworth Cove itself and the nearby Durdle Door.

Durdle Door is a natural limestone arch that formed on a concordant coastline (where bands of rock run parallel to the shoreline). The arch itself is the remains of a band of Portland limestone that also forms the Man O'War rocks directly east of Durdle Door and the entrance to Lulworth cove. Behind this limestone is a 120-metre band of softer easily eroded rocks (Wealden clays and greensands), and behind that is the much harder more resistent chalk of the Purbeck hills. Durdle Door is privately owned by the Welds family who own 12,000 acres in the name of the Lulworth estate. UNESCO teams routinely monitor the condition of both the arch and the adjacent beach.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Day 2: Durdle Door

Today we went to a place called Durdle Door in Dorset. 

Durdle Door is part of the Jurassic coast and is a one and a half mile work from the village of Lulworth.

At the beginning of the walk there is a hill to hike of, it's not to steep but it's do able. When you get to the bottom of the hill you can see this amazing beach where it looks like its made up of sand, but it is actually made up of rocks/pebbles. you can all so see this arch that has been formed from the waves just washing away at over time and eventually breaking through to the other side causing erosion. Well you see Durdle Door is made up of four different types of rock and limestone is what the arch is made out of. Limestone isn't very dense so it was easier for the waves to scrape away at it.

To get down to the beach you have to walk down some rocks/boulders, it's not very steep and very doable, but can be a bit tricky when you've got two big dogs pulling you down ;). 
The water is great because it's a lovely blue/green colour and is crystal clear. 

Well we stayed on the beach for a bit and then trekked back over the hill and then went to a place called Stair Hole that was about a three minute walk from the car park. 

Stair Hole is, again, made out of limestone so the is a lot of holes the formed the waves the waves washing away at them causing erosion.

Well that was are adventure for today, I wonder what's in store for tomorrow.......    

Jurassic Coast

The second wholly natural World Heritage Site to be designated in the UK and Stretching 115km (96mi), from Orcombe Point near Exmouth to OldHarry Rocks at Handfast Point on purbeck island. The length of the Site can be walked on the South West Coast path.

Documenting over 180 million years of geological history, showcased in the cliffs that characterize the Coast, which formed during the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods of the mesozoic era.

It was these cliffs and coves (along with it's position on the English Channel), that made it one of the staging grounds for the D-day invasions of Normandy. And some places are still used as military training grounds to this day. While others were closed and opened to the public, such as the the Royal Navy base at Portland Harbour. Which later became a popular location for wind surfing, wreck diving and sailing. So much so in fact that the Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy, which hosted the the sailing events in the 2012 Olympic Games, can be found there.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Day 1: Leaving

We drove down from stoke to Dorset. We got to a camp site called Higher Moor farm, we started setting up the tent and not soon after we finished setting up, a thunder and lighting storm hit, typical. I had literally never seen so much lightning in one place before! you could actually see the streaks of lightning in the sky, three words, it. was. AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:D We then had some food and fell asleep.

Well that was day one, not very exciting except for the storm. But the real adventure began the next day.....