Author: Nathan Akrill


People are continuing to be urged to take care around cliffs in Dorset after further landslips and rockfalls in recent days.

Landslips and rockfalls are common along this stretch of the south coast, which is constantly eroding, and this is one of the reasons it has been designated a World Heritage Site.

But recent exceptional rainfall combined with periods of warm weather has left some of the cliffs in West Dorset in an unpredictable, and potentially unstable condition, with a heightened risk of additional landslides, mudslides and rock falls.

Cliffs along the Jurassic Coast are always unpredictable, but currently, there are particular concerns about the instability of the cliffs at Monmouth Beach in Lyme Regis.  Many other cliffs in the area have the potential for occasional, but large landslides or rockfalls, as seen last night at Stonebarrow, near Charmouth, and recently at, Seatown, Golden Cap. And Hive beach.

The advice, as always, is to stay well away from the cliffs and mudflows, and to beware of quicksand. Visitors should also be aware of the tides, as it is possible to become cut off from the normal exit points to and from the beaches.

Dorset County Council has been working to provide assistance to landowners by providing signs and people to give out advice to the public.

New warning signs have been put up along the coast to add to public notices that have been prepared for tourist information centres and other strategic points in the area.

The beach and South West Coast Path between Freshwater and Hive beaches remains closed following the landslip there in July. This will be reviewed when further safety assessments have been carried out.

There are many beautiful beaches and seafront walks where visitors can enjoy days out, with the main amenity beaches at Charmouth, Lyme Regis and West Bay unaffected.  West Dorset is a fabulous place to spend time in the natural environment, and we encourage people to do this in the safest possible manner.

Miles Butler, director for environment at Dorset County Council, said:

We are lucky to have a stunning coastline on our doorsteps that we can all enjoy. But there are dangers, especially around the cliffs, which have become extremely unpredictable following recent changes between wet and warm weather. As always, we would urge people to be careful and stay away from the cliffs and take notice of warning signs, even if you know the area well.

People can report unstable sections of cliff or rock fall to the Jurassic Coast team at Dorset County Council on 01305 221000.


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