This site is of special interest for both its
geology and biology.
Exposed along this stretch of coast is a
complicated and fascinating sequence of rocks. Older, Carboniferous
limestone (approximately 335 million years old) is overlain by
younger Triassic (200 million years old) and Jurassic (195 million
years old) rocks. The surface of the grey Carboniferous limestone
is extremely uneven, with fossil cliffs and valleys visible along
the foreshore. These were filled and covered over during late
Triassic and early Jurassic times. The Triassic rocks are
characteristically red, whilst the Jurassic comprises alternate
layers of hard limestone and soft mudstone. A jumbled layer of
pebbles and boulders usually forms the bottom of both the Triassic
and Jurassic rocks. This stretch of coast is also important for the
minerals found within the rock sequence. Baryte, galena, calcite
and pyrite can all be found in veins in the rocks and a complex
history of mineralisation can be studied here.
The vegetation of the cliff-tops and valleys
includes species-rich neutral, calcareous and maritime grassland,
scrub and woodland and intertidal communities. Several rare plants
can be found, including tuberous thistle, purple gromwell, shore
dock and clustered bellflower, which are all features of interest
of the site.
Managing this site
The site is in private ownership. The special features of this
SSSI and CCW’s views about site management have been summarised in
a Site Management Statement, addressed to the owners and managers
of the land. The statement can be found in the resource section
The northern end of the site, from Ogmore-by-Sea to
Southerndown, is registered common land and CROW open access land.
To the South of Southerndown, the coastal part of Dunraven Park is
open to the public. A right of way continues south along the cliff
top as far as Cwm Bach, where it turns inland. The cliffs are
dangerous in places and great care is needed as rocks often fall
from them. For detailed maps and information regarding access visit
our access map via the resource section below.
The site includes Dunraven Bay Special Area of Conservation.