Sunday, 11 December 2016

Where the earth slipped away

Thank you for all the comments on the previous post and I hope you don't mind if we take another visit along the Jurassic coast in this post too. Our friends suggested a pre-Christmas walk along the most magical parts of this stretch of coastline and we couldn't resist!


So before we set off let us take a step back in time and go back to December 1839. The land here was very fertile and supported farms,orchards, and market gardens. Two weeks before Christmas locals began to see settlement cracks appearing in their homes, and cracks in the ground along the cliffs. On Christmas Eve a labourer returning home from celebrations noticed the path had fallen a foot, but full of alcohol,he was not unduly concerned. He went to bed but the noise of the land moving, kept waking him and when he did get up at 5 am he had difficulty getting out of his front door and raising the alarm.


The Bindon landslide was huge, eight million tons of rock slid off and headed towards the sea, a great deep chasm of over 20 acres was formed between the land and the sea and a piece of land named 'Goat Island' was left standing see here. There had been constant heavy rain during the six months before the landslide. The geological structure of the land is made up of many different layers of rock. Some layers of rock will not let the water in, while other layers dissolve before it. The result is similar to a high pile of precariously balanced books when one book is removed.

Looking up towards Goat Island 2012
We walked along the Undercliff back in 2012 and stared up at Goat Island in awe. 

Then three years ago part of the coast path was closed due to another on-going landslide, thanks to conservation bodies and hard working volunteers, the path has now been diverted on to Goat Island. Although it reopened in April, this is the first chance we have had to come here.




Looking down from Goat Island towards the sea.


The chasm is so deep and full of impenetrable undergrowth.  As we sat on a log and enjoyed a flask of coffee and a mince pie we took in the beauty and peace surrounding us. It is fantastic nature reserve where wildlife can thrive without much disturbance from man.



The views out to sea were amazing too, a river of fog hung over the water where the River Axe flowed into the sea.




As we headed back to the car the fog cleared giving us beautiful views of the white cliffs of Seaton and Beer.


I'm afraid that wasn't the end of the land slipping away from me at least ! The path was muddy, my foot slipped and I ended falling backwards into a bush of brambles and ended up with cuts to my neck and feeling an idiot for having fallen over. There has to be one and it is usually me! At least there wasn't a picture of my mishap. It's much better to end with the beauty of the Old Man's Beard!


Wishing you a good week ahead, last week was busy here, so I wasn't able to visit many other bloggers, hopefully this week I will be able to pop by.

Sarah x

24 comments:

  1. I'm glad you did not fall in a landslide! Although brambles do seem a rather unpleasant place to be.

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  2. What a great place for andventure! Just beautiful, with interesting history.

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  3. Another wonderful walk with you Sarah. I just can't get enough. Was it water that caused the landslide?

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    1. Hi Donna, It had been rain heavily for six months previously and combined with the mix of the geological structure of the land around here couldn't cope with that much pressure. Even today some landslides will suddenly happen quite a period of time after a long period of rain, some one always has to be wary.

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  4. Them erosion around our little country is quite frightening and perfectly illustrated by you here. I too have noticed lots of Old Man's Beard climbing in profusion over the hedgerows this year.
    Hope that you are alright and did not suffer too much from your fall. I have walking sticks which help over muddy and tricky terrain but typically forget to take them with me.

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    1. I am fine apart from some red marks! We have walking sticks too, although like you we forget them more often than not! I was actually using one yesterday, I think I just too busy chatting and admiring the view rather than looking at my feet! Sarah

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  5. This part of the world has such ancient, untouched lands. Sarah, the ghosts of the past live on these edges and chasms and it must be an awesome sight to behold. Thank you for always taking me where I dream to go...

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  6. It's such a fantastic landscape. We'll be down for the Grizzly in March which is run all along the cliffs and beaches there. Have you been? It's quite a sight! Hope you were OK after your fall xx

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    1. How exciting that you are running in the Grizzly next year and on their 30th Anniversary run! I have heard about it has they are very good at supporting local charities too. Sarah x

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  7. Fascinating if a bit scary! i like to think the ground is firm beneath my feet.

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  8. I had never heard of this landslide or goat island. The lovely thing about blogging is you get to see some amazing things. Such a beautiful stretch of coastline. Lovely photos Sarah. Hopefully your scratches are healing. I'm a bit accident prone like you when it comes to mud. B xx

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  9. I was so enjoying reading and looking at your post ...
    Then I read about your slip oh dear!
    Hope you are ok.

    I really did enjoy the read and History - those views are amazing.

    Take care and have a good week

    All the best Jan

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  10. Fascinating Sarah - our little island seems to be getting smaller every year inch by inch - particularly that part of the coast - thanks for taking us on this walk, most enjoyable. You feel such a fool if you fall over don't you- this happened to me last winter and the first thing I did was look round to make sure no one had seen me :)

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  11. Very interesting story, I liked the way you started with the history, which put it all in context for me. The Bindon landslide was amazing... 8 million tons of rock! And describing the rocks as precariously balanced books when one book is removed... We live in a very fragile world really. Anyway, the views were wonderful and I'm glad you could enjoy a mince pie and coffee before you took a tumble!

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  12. I loved to accompany you on a virtual walk along the coast of beautiful England. I never get enough of it.

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  13. Fascinating, I have wanted for some time to see the landslip but never made it in person yet. Sorry about your fall, it reminded me of earlier this year when I was walking between Stonebarrow and Golden Cap. I wasnt paying attention to the paths (too much else to look at) and took a wrong turn, ended up in a muddy section frequented by cows so it wasnt all mud, slipped and fell in a bramble bush. No major damage apart from pride but I was on my own and felt rather vulnerable.

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  14. Very interesting geographical area! A great walk you had there. Love the view of the water. Old Man's Beard is surely an interesting plant! Thanks for sharing!

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  15. Hi Sarah,

    Interesting to read about this and must have been a wonderful walk. Sorry to hear about the fall and hope you are feeling ok now. The coast and white cliffs are lovely and thanks for sharing.
    Enjoy the rest of the week
    Hugs
    Carolyn

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  16. I enjoyed our walk (until the fall), could almost feel the fresh clean air.
    Amalia
    xo

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  17. I often look at houses close to a cliff edge and wonder about their future. Your story is a reminder that the coast is always moving and sometimes that move can be very dramatic. I'm sorry to hear about your fall and hope you're OK. After such a dry late summer and autumn there has been a change to the footpaths here after recent wet weather. They're all muddy and slippery now, too.

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  18. An incredible story, Sarah, one that I wasn't aware of before now. How terrifying for those people at the time, seeing their homes disappearing and not knowing why! I'm sorry to hear that you slipped in the mud and hope that you're recovering now. I regularly encounter deep mud on my walks in the Chiltern Hills when it's been raining and try to keep to the banks where it's less slippy!

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  19. I loved this virtual walk with you. So awesome and the images are absolutely stunning. Thanks for sharing!

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  20. Thanks so much for this lovely tour.

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  21. What a lovely walk...
    Winterhug from Titti

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