The town of Budleigh Salterton is famous as the childhood town of Sir Walter Raleigh. The beach here comprises almost entirely of flat water worn river pebbles from the cliff, but they are now being swept away quicker than they can be replaced and like Chesil Bank further to the East, the beach here is protected and the stones are not to be removed.
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Budleigh Salterton Beach
The water worn river pebbles of Budleigh Salterton Beach
Fossilised plant roots can be seen to the rear of the beach huts on Budleigh Salterton seafront. They show up as white deposits and are extremely fragile. The white colour shows the area the roots were, having absorbed the iron from the sand surrounding.
Fossils from the Triassic Period are extremely rare and often only tiny fragments are found. The river sediment deposits of the Otter Sandstone Formation provided the best conditions at the time and they have yielded some exceptional finds, like that of the Rynchosaur, otherwise known as the Beaked Lizard, examples of which can be found in Exeter Museum.
Rynchosaurs were herbivorous reptiles that grazed on the wetlands and lush vegetation growing alongside the Triassic desert rivers.
Dinosaur footprints can be found within the Purbeck Bed sediments on Worbarrow Tout and in Durlston Bay and displays can be found in the Dorset County Mueum and the Dinosaur Museum in Dorchester.
Coastal Features: River Pebble Beach
River Pebble Beach
The beach from Littleham Cove to Budleigh Salterton is unusual as it consists almost entirely of 500 million year old flattened water worn river pebbles and cobbles from France. These stones have fallen out of the cliff alongside the beach, but were originally deposited as the “Budleigh Salterton Pebble Beds” by a powerful river which flowed North from the continent through the Triassic desert around 240 million years ago.