Dancing Ledge

A spectacular area named after the rocky ledge of the former quarry on the outskirts of  Langton Matravers.

In Spring the chalk downs above the seacliffs are home to 75% of the UK population of Early Spider Orchids, in addition it’s the most southerly breeding location of Puffins, the first point of arrival for many of our Summer migrants and later in the year the departure point (see the online diary at the adjacent Durlston Country Park for an idea of what’s around), home to  Roe Deer, Common and European Wall Lizards, Adders, Greater Horseshoe Bats, Peregrines, fossilised Palm trees and rock pools full of sponges, anemones, prawns and fish.

The NT owned Eastington Quarry on the western side of the headland is also well worth exploring especially for reptiles.

Dancing Ledge
Rockpool at Dancing Ledge
Blenny
Blenny and Beadlet Anemones
Sponges
Sponges possibly Suberites carnosus.
Rockpool Garden
Rockpool Garden

Snakelock Anemone’s at Dancing Ledge. Unlike many of the other common Anemone’s the Snakelock is unable to draw its tentacles back in therefore its typically found in the deeper water.

Fossilised base of a Jurassic palm tree

Fossilised base of a Jurassic palm tree.

Note: there’s also a fossiled forest just east of Lulworth Cove on a MOD firing range – normally accessible on weekends at low tide. One for our next visit down South.

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Steps down to Dancing Ledge (only accessible at low tide)
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Early Spider Orchid taken earlier this year on the 4th May above Dancing Ledge