Posted by: Rose | March 11, 2009

Fossil Forest

The weather wasn’t so good for exploration out at sea. A pootle around Poole harbour followed by strong winds meant that any escape from the shelter of Lulworth Cove wasn’t going to be much fun. We therefore took the opportunity to explore the ‘Fossil Forest‘ just to the east of Lulworth Cove, along the cliffs. To be fair, it should really be called ‘Fossilised Absence of Forest‘, but that doesn’t really have the same (tree) ring to it. But they are still worth visiting if you have a spare moment.

'Fossil Forest', Lulworth Cove

'Fossil Forest', Lulworth Cove

These bulbous formations were created when rising water levels engulfed the trees and  stromatolites grew around the trunks. Stromatolites are formed when blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) trap and bind pieces of sediment. Over time, the layers of bacteria build upwards and outwards to form mounds. They are remarkably common in the fossil record, but a few living specimens can still be found today. In the case of the ‘Fossil Forest‘, the trees have decayed leaving distinctive mounds with hollow centres. They look a bit like giant rock doughnuts!

Windy seas off Dancing Ledge

Windy seas beyond Lulworth Cove



  1. What a brilliant idea for a blog, Liz! I’ll be following this one closely… Fantastic, keep it up.

  2. […] And nothing to do with damaged sleeping apparatus.  If you visit the fossil forest, you only have to turn around to see these broken rocks. Broken Beds, Lulworth […]

  3. […] The peculiar circular formations are best explained by Dr Lizzie. […]

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