Chesil Beach Visitor Centre wins Heritage Lottery cash

Chesil Beach Visitor Centre wins Heritage Lottery cash

Coe Design was appointed in 2009 to support Dorset County Council’s application to secure crucial heritage lottery funding for the development of England’s only natural UNESCO designated World Heritage Site. 

Situated at the heart of England’s Jurassic Coast, the 17-mile long Chesil Beach is a place of international importance for birds and marine wildlife. Coe Design’s £1m concept was developed with the artist John Maine RA and the landscape element includes the propagation of native planting grown from locally sourced seeds and the use of local Portland stone.

Jenny Coe, founding director of Coe Design, said: “Our sensitive landscape design for the centre has been carefully tailored to minimise any impact on the surrounding ecosystems. The design for the ecology and planting will be developed with the Dorset Wildlife Trust to ensure the protection and enrichment of the existing habitats.”

Chesil Beach is one of the finest barrier beaches in the world, running north west from Portland to West Bay. Behind it lies a shallow region of saline water called the Fleet Lagoon, the largest tidal lagoon in Britain. Made up of pebbles and shingle, Chesil Beach protects the Fleet and has stood up to the full force of the Atlantic for thousands of years. 

The redeveloped visitors’ centre will provide the opportunity to learn more about the beach itself, the Fleet and the adjacent Lyme Bay and Portland Harbour, within the context of the World Heritage Site.



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