Lyme Regis Discovery Trail - East Cliff
The dark grey cliffs to the east of Lyme Regis are where Mary Anning found her first ichthyosaur. What will you find?
This end of Lyme Regis offers panoramic views of the Jurassic Coast, including views to Golden Cap, the highest point on the south coast, and some of the best fossiling beaches in the world.
Black Ven forms the largest mudslide in Europe, which is actively slipping and being eroded by rain and sea, releasing fossils from the Blue Lias and Charmouth Mudstone formations.
Scour the beach to find ammonites, belemnites and the odd vertebrae. Crinoids (ancient starfish), fossil fish, ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs and even a scelidosaurus, unique to the mile of coast between Lyme and Charmouth, have been rarer finds here.
If you would like expert guidance, there are fossil walks running most months of the year.
The delightful walk to the eastern beaches towards Black Ven is via a scenic level walkway, completed in 2015 as part of an award-winning £19.5 million land stabilisation project to protect this side of town from coastal erosion and landslides.
We would stress the need for safety when on the beach and looking for fossils as landslides can occur any time. Stay away from the cliff edge and always observe the tide times.
Points of interest
Long Entry was once the start of the old road along the beach to Charmouth. The road once led along Black Ven to Charmouth but was lost to the sea by 1750.
Church Cliff Walk
In June 2015, Church Cliff Walk opened following completion of Phase 4 of the Lyme Regis Environmental Improvement Scheme.
Construction began in April 2013 to build a 1,200ft (390m) stretch of sea wall and stabilise slopes at Church Cliff and East Cliff. This remarkable feat of engineering included the construction of 2,500 soil nails, a 27m deep anchored piled wall with anchors up to 46m long, dowel piles extending to 12m, groundwater drainage 6,800 cubic metres of concrete and 390 tonnes of rock armour.
The Environmental Agency said the £19.5m project was one of the largest and most complex coastal protection schemes attempted in England.
Black Ven is the name given to the dark cliffs to the east of Lyme. These cliffs experience the largest mudslides in Europe and it’s here that Mary Anning found her first ichthyosaur.
The mudslides deliver millions of fossils onto the beaches as they erode, making is a great place to take a fossil walk.
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