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Coe Design to overhaul Chesil beach visitor centre

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[First look] Landscape architects Coe Design has netted Heritage Lottery cash for its planned £1 million revamp of the visitor centre on the 17-mile long Chesil Beach

The scheme for the site on England’s Jurassic Coast in Dorset is due to complete in February next year in time for the Olympic & Paralympic Games sailing events in 2012 which will be held in nearby Weymouth.

The initial concept was developed with the artist John Maine

Jenny Coe, founding Director of Coe Design, said: ‘Our sensitive landscape design for Chesil Beach Centre has been carefully tailored to minimise any impact or intervention on the surrounding ecosystems. This is absolutely crucial, since the area is acknowledged as a vital and secure habitat for protected species. It provides seven regional and international designations dedicated to the long-term preservation of wildlife.

“Our landscape design at Chesil includes the propagation of native planting grown from locally sourced seeds, along with plans to incorporate local Portland stone as an indication of the landscape’s ‘Jurassic’ heritage. The design for the ecology and planting will be developed with the Dorset Wildlife Trust to ensure the safety and ongoing enrichment of the existing habitats.’

The project received £550,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund


Chesil Beach is known to be one of the finest barrier beaches in the world, running north-west all the way from Portland to West Bay, the majority of which consists of a shallow region of saline water called the Fleet Lagoon, the largest tidal lagoon in Britain. Made up of pebbles and shingle, Chesil Beach protects the Fleet and has stood up to the full force of the Atlantic for thousands of years.

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