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Weather warning: Keep away from the coast
PEOPLE are being urged to stay away from dangerous areas of the coast this weekend amid ongoing fears of rockfalls.
Thousands of sightseers and fossil hunters have been flocking to the Jurassic coast to hunt for fossils unearthed by the recent storms.
The Met Office has issued a new warning for heavy rain and strong winds for Sunday.
The ‘yellow’ warning, which is valid from 6am until 11.45pm on Sunday, covers the whole of the county.
There is a risk of further flooding in some areas.
The chief forecaster at the Met Office said: “Another Atlantic frontal system is forecast to cross the UK during Sunday.
“Rainfall accumulations of over 20mm are expected in many western parts, with the greatest risk of flooding in southwestern areas along with Northern Ireland.
“Strong winds are also expected. Gales are likely, especially along exposed coasts, with gusts of 50 to 60mph.”
The Environment Agency has three flood warnings in place for South Winterbourne Valley, Middle Avon from Salisbury to Ringwood and Lower Frome from East Stoke to Wareham.
The Fine Foundation Chesil Beach Centre will be hosting a beach clean today starting at 11am. The Taste* café at the Chesil Centre is also offering an exclusive 10 per cent discount on food and drink for those who are involved with the beach clean.
The Dorset Wildlife Trust Chesil Beach Centre manager, Emily Brown, said: “Litter on our beaches is not only unsightly, but it can have a big impact on wildlife and the environment. Seagulls have been found with fishing line around their legs, which can seriously harm them if they are unable to feed properly.
“Fishing line and glass bottles can take 500 years to break down in the sea.
“Plastic bags, which are often found washed up on Dorset’s beaches, can take up to 450 years to disappear. Rubbish such as plastic, metal and fishing gear can be very harmful to birds if they become entangled in it and lots of wildlife, such as turtles, can ingest plastic.”
And people power was set to clear up West Bay’s east beach this weekend, after tonnes of storm debris washed up, littering the stretch from the pier to Freshwater.
But the dangerous state of the cliffs has meant that people are being actively discouraged from walking along the shore, where more rockfalls are predicted.
The beach, made famous across the world in the top TV drama Broadchurch, has been covered with marine waste and rubbish since high tides last weekend.
West Dorset District Council workers have already spent days clearing the largest items and have filled truckloads with rubbish.
Plastic and metal containers, fishing netting, dead birds, fish and animals, litter, wooden pallets and thousands of small pieces of waste appeared as the very high tides receded, following weeks of storms.
A spokesman for the Dorset Waste Partnership, which has the contract to do regular beach cleaning says it received a work order from the district council, which has responsibility for the east beach.
“We do work through the winter normally, but this was certainly a bigger job than normal, with a large volume of debris having washed up,” he added.
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