Friday, 13 March 2009

A coastal walk to Pound’s Pool

One of the lowest tides of the year occurred yesterday at about 13.00 providing an opportunity to walk south and west along Beer Beach to visit Pound’s Pool. The chalk cliffs of Beer are the most westerly chalk cliffs along the south coast and shelter the beach from the worst of the prevailing southwesterlies. It’s a shingle and rock scramble but not excessively strenuous and takes little more than half an hour. It is important to check the tides with care because access through the natural arch (known as The Hall) is only safe for an hour or so, either side of exceptionally low tides.

Pound’s Pool is a wide mouthed cove with a shingle beach and looks directly out into the ocean without any sight of land. Visitors are infrequent and it remains unspoilt. It can be a productive source of fossilised sea urchins and there’s a feeling of remoteness without actually being so. Quantities of detritus (mostly in the form of motor vehicle parts) from the wreck of the MSC Napoli continue to extend along the tideline, two years after the event. Beer Head forms a natural conclusion to this exploration. It may be possible to continue to Hooken Beach and Branscombe but it looks as if it would involve some very taxing rock scrambling.

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