Jurassic Coast Trust Ambassador Steve Belasco is a marine photographer documenting our World Heritage Site entirely from offshore. Here is his monthly blog in which he highlights an image that has a particular significance to him and briefly explains why.

Steeped in mystery, the enigmatic Undercliff National Nature Reserve, which occupies most of the seven-mile stretch from a little west of Lyme Regis in Dorset to pretty Axmouth in Devon, has been described as England’s last true wilderness. It’s a tough walk through largely dense, succulent undergrowth… but the view from seaward is rarely appreciated.

Undercliffs Reserve

On a sunny day the Undercliff looks inviting

From a photographer’s viewpoint the natural light, which varies dramatically from time of day to time of year, is rarely disappointing and often highlights a surprisingly colourful vista, unseen by walkers.

My favourite view when travelling westward is of the striking coastal colours under Haven Cliff that hit you after rounding Culverhole Point. But it needs to be a bright day to bring out those colours…

At other times, such as under heavy cloud,  the Undercliff can look dark, sinister and even primordial. Careful navigation is needed when in close as there are many rocks under the surface as a result of the huge landslides that happened here in the 19th century.

Undercliffs geology

Colourful cliffs and verdant growth with productive farmland beyond

Undercliffs Layers

Striking colours under Haven Cliff hit you as you round Culverhole Point and approach Axmouth

Undercliffs Beach

The overall colour of the coastline starts to change as Triassic sandstone starts to appear

Undercliffs light

Steamy summer clouds and muted sun rays give a ‘primordial’ feel to the Undercliff

Axmouth from the sea

Pretty Axmouth catches a sunray. The harbour has a challenging approach for mariners.

Steve’s images can be viewed at stevebelasco.net. His latest book, The Jurassic Coast From The Sea is available now.




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