Coastal Features: Chalk Cliff Erosion, The Pinnacles
Chalk Cliff Erosion
Erosion of coastal Chalk cliffs is slow. Chalk is relatively hard, and only becomes unstable when the sea has carved a cave into its base, destabilising the weight of cliff above. The sea then has to wash away the cliff fall before the process can start all over again. The milky coloured seawater found at the base of Chalk cliffs, particularly around fresh falls, is evidence of coastal cliff erosion in progress.
The two Chalk sea stacks alongside Ballard Down Cliff are known as the Pinnacles. They have been left to stand alone in the sea as the cliff has been eroded from around them by the elements.
Coastal Visitor Centre
Studland Beach Information Centre
Town/Village or Area:
Tourist Info Centres
in this Area: Ballard Down, Birds
The chalk downland of Ballard Down is managed by the National Trust and represents a rare habitat with a rich biodiversity of insect and plant life.
The sea stacks of the Pinnacles and Old Harry Rocks provide a popular roosting site for a multitude of coastal birds.
Interest: WW2 Aircraft Firing Range
WW2 Aircraft Firing Range
The cliffs of Ballard Down were used as a gunnery range for training fighter pilots during WW2 and the seabed is littered with their spent brass shell cases, some of which make useful homes for the marine life.