TELEVISION cameras have taken over Charmouth beach this week, as three-part BBC series ‘Beach Live: Jurassic Coast Revealed’ is filmed.
Residents and visitors crowded on the beach to get a closer look at the first show on Tuesday night and filming will continue tonight (Wednesday) and tomorrow (Thursday), broadcast live on BBC4 between 8pm and 9pm.
With the backdrop of Golden Cap, historian Dan Snow and natural history experts Lucy Cooke and Niall Strawson will be opening audience’s eyes to the amazing prehistoric landscapes, unique animals and intriguing historical insights hidden beneath the sand and sea of the Jurassic Coast.
From crabs and bats to owls and cormorants, the first show show carried out a live mission to investigate just how much wildlife is living on our beach. The hidden world of sandhoppers and seaweed were magnified, while specialist underwater cameras gave a glimpse of sharks and crabs lying deep in the ocean.
Dan Snow looked into the royal origin of beach huts and how varied their use is in modern day Britain, while Lucy Cooke demonstrated how a humble mollusc is helping to train racehorses down in Devon. And Niall Strawson was in charge of the ‘Discovery Centre’, where a panel of experts examined and assessed the significance of beach finds from all over the country.
In tonight’s episode, the presenters look at the industrial heritage of the Jurassic Coast and investigate the rich history of local beaches. There are more than 300 shipwrecks in Lyme Bay alone, from old galleons to submarines, and Dan dives 15 metres deep in the Channel to discover the story behind some of the more unusual vessels – top secret WW2 tanks that sank in a D-Day landings rehearsal known as Exercise Smash.
‘Beach Live’ will also be given privileged access to a huge coastal quarry to find out why Portland stone has been used for historic buildings all over the world, and how it is removed from the ground today.
The final show tomorrow will focus on the subject that made the Jurassic Coast world famous – its fossils.
There will be live rock-smashing missions during the programme to find out how many different ammonites can be found on the beach during the hour, and experts will be on hand to translate what they tell us about life on a prehistoric beach.
Lucy Cooke travels to London to understand how Lyme’s famous fossil hunter, Mary Anning, rocked 19th century Britain with her finds. plus there will be a ‘How To’ fossil guide to help people get motivated and find their own fossil treasure.