TOURISTS flocking to the county for the Easter Bank Holiday weekend are being urged to take extra care on the seafront and cliff areas.

Thousands are expected to descend on to the county’s beaches and tourist attractions over the weekend to enjoy the Easter sunshine but authorities have warned people to be careful on the beaches and when walking at coastal locations after a number of high profile incidents recently.

Dorset County Council has advised people to use common sense when they are walking along coastal paths in the county and they have also published a list of the closed areas of paths.

The area’s coastal landscape was badly damaged following the severe winter storms and Richard Edmonds, the earth science manager for the Jurassic Team at Dorset County Council, urged the public to respect the closed signs that are along the coastal paths.

Mr Edmonds said: “Rock falls are still a hazard and there are still quite a few mud slides that are extending out onto the beaches. The message we want to give is people should stay away from the cliffs. The coast path is closed in some places and we are asking people to respect the closed signs and don’t go through the parts of the path that are closed.

“If people want to find out more information on what parts are closed before they go, they should visit where we have put a list of the closures.”

Portland Coastguard has urged dog walkers to keep their dogs on a lead at all times after coastguards were called to a number of dog rescues in recent months.

A spokesman said: “We would advise anybody that is going to go the coast to keep in mind the recent bad weather we have had.

“Some areas of our coastline still remain unstable. Our main advice would be to go and enjoy yourself on the coast but be aware of the dangers of the coast line.”

Beachgoers have also been warned of the potential risks of swimming in the sea by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.