The sea around Kimmeridge Bay is home to some very special wildlife.

Here you will find unique habitats both on and off the seashore, formed by the extraordinary geology of the Jurassic Coast. They provide the perfect home for unusual fish such as Montagu’s blennies and the endangered undulate ray. This is also the chosen spot for black bream to excavate their dramatic seabed nests during the breeding season.

These animals, plus a myriad of other marine species, are the focus of the newly refurbished Fine Foundation Wild Seas Centre, situated adjacent to the slipway in Kimmeridge Bay. Some feature on the art panels decorating the walls of the building, created by artist Jane Laurie who specialises in highlighting endangered species. Others are temporarily housed in the centre’s small aquarium, including the brand new indoor rock pool, or adorning the eye-catching wall panels and children’s activities.

At the centre you can learn what links the beautiful undulate ray with the dried up mermaid’s purses found washed up among seaweed on the beach, and how to identify a Montagu’s blenny by its fringed head-dress. Did you know, for example, that Montagu’s blennies grow to a diminutive 8cm long and feed on barnacles, waiting until they extend their feeding apparatus into the water before biting them off! Or that local divers have carried out ground-breaking research to discover a healthy population of undulate rays near to Kimmeridge.

Most importantly, visitors to the centre can learn how to help marine life including our Dorset specialities. One way is by supporting Dorset Wildlife Trust’s campaign to add this exceptional bit of Dorset’s sea to the network of protected areas around the country. This summer the government will consult the public on which areas of the sea should be protected from human impact. You can add your voice to our call for Kimmeridge Bay and the Purbeck Coast to become a Marine Conservation Zone and offer protection to its undulate rays, black bream, Montagu’s blennies and many more species.

So come and visit the Wild Seas Centre. Entry is free (toll road fee payable to Smedmore Estate) and we are open daily from 10.30am until 5pm.