Wealden District Council
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Cliff collapses prompt renewed safety warnings

Publish Date: 28 March 2024

Visitors to East Sussex’s stunning coastline are being urged to stay safe after two significant cliff collapses in the space of just two weeks

image of a cliff with rockfalls at the bottom. the image is surrounding with a yellow box and wording that says stay away from cliff edges and bases

The warning comes as families prepare for the school Easter break, and after huge sections of cliff along the coast collapsed last month.

With visitor numbers set to increase as the weather improves, local councils have once again teamed up with HM Coastguard and landowners to launch a campaign reminding people of the risk posed by the unstable chalk cliffs.

Cliff erosion is a natural process and part of the evolution of the coastline and as well as the risk to those walking on top of cliffs, it can also present dangers to those on the beach below.

A Wealden District Council spokesperson said, “Sadly, we continue to see people getting perilously close to the edge of the cliffs to take a selfie, or walking along the base of the cliffs without appreciating the danger they are putting themselves in.

“The cliffs contain many overhangs and cracks that visitors may not be able to see, and the unstable chalk can fall at any time with absolutely no warning.

“We understand why visitors come to East Sussex to enjoy the spectacular coastline, and we want to encourage people to continue to visit the area safely.”

As well as the dangers posed by cliff falls, visitors are also reminded to check tide times as it is possible to get cut off by the incoming tide or be forced to walk too close to the base of the cliffs to avoid the rising sea water.

The joint campaign to raise awareness of cliff dangers is being promoted by HM Coastguard, The National Trust, South Downs National Park Authority, Sussex Wildlife Trust, East Sussex County Council, Seaford Town Council, Wealden District Council, Eastbourne Borough Council and Lewes District Council.

If visitors see anyone in danger or witness someone who has fallen, they are urged to call 999 immediately and ask for the Coastguard and not attempt to rescue them.

Notes to editors:

Visitors can check the tide times at www.tidetimes.org.uk