Cracks have appeared at Beachy Head in East Sussex. Photo: David Iliff CC-BY-SA-3.0

Cracks have appeared at Beachy Head in East Sussex. Photo: David Iliff CC-BY-SA-3.0

The Coastguard is warning walkers to stay away from cliff edges at a South Downs beauty spot after a large crack appeared close to the footpath.

Warning tapes and barriers have been placed at Beachy Head as authorities feared the ground could collapse.

People using the coastal path at the site in the national park should steer clear of the unstable area, near Shooters’ Bottom, the Coastguard said.

Ian Guy, duty controller for the agency, said: “We are warning beach-goers and coastal walkers to exercise caution in the Beachy Head cliffs area and keep away from the areas that have warning tapes and barriers.

“The cliffs along the UK coastline are continually eroding and we’ve seen a number of cliff collapses in recent months.

“Periods of intense rainfall will make cliffs more vulnerable. It’s impossible to predict when the next piece might fall or how big it will be. It’s very clear that cliffs are unstable in places and we really can’t stress enough how important it is to keep back from the edge. There is no ‘safe’ place to be.

“When standing at the bottom of the cliff, we would always advise people that they shouldn’t stand less than the height of the cliff away. That means if the cliff is 25m high, don’t go closer than 25m towards it.

“Don’t be tempted to go and investigate recent cracks or falls and don’t risk going to the edge to get a dramatic photo.

“One of our biggest problems is the ‘selfie-culture’ where people take great risks to get a dramatic photograph of themselves on a dangerous cliff edge – no selfie is worth risking your life for.

“Use the designated paths, take notice of any warning signs and fences in place, be responsible and don’t take any unnecessary risks. As ever, our message is: ‘keep safe, but if you see anybody in trouble or if you get into difficulty, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard’.”

Some articles the site thinks might be related:

  1. Farmers’ signs will warn walkers of cattle danger
  2. Cairngorms walkers missing overnight found safe and well after search
  3. Walkers airlifted after 200m Highlands fall
  4. Beautiful but dangerous: mountain expert warns of cornice hazard to walkers