Visitors to Dorset and East Devon’s Jurassic Coast are being urged not to walk under cliffs following yesterday’s fatal landslide near Bridport.
Hundreds of tonnes of rock fell when part of a cliff collapsed near Burton Bradstock, killing a 22-year-old woman on the beach below.
As things stand, visitors are being strongly advised to avoid areas of beach that have a cliff backdrop between Lyme Regis and West Bexington, due to the potential for further landslides. Members of the public should heed the warning signs for their own safety.
The coastal clifftop path in that area has been temporarily closed between Lyme Regis and West Bexington, while safety assessments are carried out. This will be reviewed daily.
Landslips and rockfalls are common along this stretch of the south coast, which is constantly eroding, and is one of the reasons it has been designated a World Heritage Site.
But the recent exceptional rainfall has left some of the cliffs in West Dorset in an unstable condition, with a potentially heightened risk of additional landslides, mudslides and rock falls.
The advice is to stay well away from the cliffs and mudflows at all times 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.
Warning signs have been put up along the coast, and additional public notices are being prepared for tourist information centres and other strategic points in the area.
Sam Rose, Jurassic Coast Team Leader at Dorset County Council, said:
The incident near the Burton Bradstock was tragic, and our thoughts and condolences go out to the people involved. As always, we would urge people to avoid the cliffs and mudslides and to heed the warning signs along the coast. There are still many great beaches and walks that are not affected and which are being enjoyed by many people safely.