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Warning after huge cliff fall on beach
7:50am Saturday 18th January 2014 in News
THERE are renewed safety warnings after a huge rockfall onto the beach at Burton Bradstock.
Massive boulders crashed down to the Hive beach in one of the largest falls this winter along the stretch of coastline.
The fall happened only a few hundred yards from the spot where a landslip killed Charlotte Blackman in summer 2012.
It is believed to have occurred overnight or very early this morning.
Bridport amateur photographer Ray Beer took dramatic shots of the scene on the beach today as people were already ignoring warnings not to go near areas of slippage.
The fall happened a couple of hundred metres west of the Hive Beach café, a popular spot for walkers and people exercising their dogs.
Mr Beer said that he was walking his dog along the stretch of beach a couple of days ago.
“It was only two days ago that I was walking my dog under these cliffs and I didn't like the state of the cliffs as there were numerous fresh crack, “ he added.
“I met a man who was on the beach yesterday and he said the fall had not happened then so it must have been overnight or very early today.
“I am surprised they have not closed off the beach. There were people climbing over the rocks.
“Personally I think they are mad.”
National Trust West Dorset head warden Rob Rhodes said that the fall was a large one and that there is a likelihood that more could come down.
“From my point of view I am not surprised that this has happened after all the storms, “ he said.
“I would repeat our warnings that people stay away from the cliffs and this shows exactly what can happen.
“This was a large fall and and there are cracks higher up that suggest that there is more to come down.”
Mr Rhodes said that he and his team were monitoring the situation closely and would be putting up warning signs.
“We have discovered if we try to close the beaches, it makes no difference, “ We are monitoring the situation closely to see if there is any further movement.”
The authorities warned of landslip and rock fall risk following the recent storms that battered Dorset's coastline.
Residents and visitors are being encouraged to follow safety advice along the coastline as landslides and rock falls can occur quickly and without warning.
A spokesman for both Weymouth and Portland Borough Council and West Dorset District Council said that waves and tides had re-shaped and stripped beaches around the coast meaning it is easier to get cut off by the incoming tide.
People are being urged to keep to official routes along the coast path and take care as the recent heavy rain will have made the path muddy and slippery in places.
Dorset Police are warning that landslides often take place after wet weather as there is a delay in the rainwater falling and soaking into the ground. Cliffs and areas that have clays at the base and porous sandstone or limestone at the top are prone to landslides because the water soaks down through the cliff top but cannot pass through the clay.
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