Coastguard warns of 'extreme danger' after children seen digging in Hopton cliffs

ANGLIA 290823 gorleston coastguard cliffs digging
Gorleston Coastguard
The excavations have been described as "extremely dangerous". Credit: Gorleston Coastguard

The coastguard has issued an urgent warning after children were seen digging tunnels into sandy cliffs notorious for their sudden collapses.

The hollowed-out dens in the fragile cliffs at Hopton near Gorleston in Norfolk prompted the local coastguard to post on its Facebook page warning of the risk.

"Digging into the sand cliffs around our coast is extremely dangerous and can result in serious injury or death should they collapse," said a spokesman for Gorleston Coastguard.

The alarm was raised by a woman who saw the youngsters digging into the cliffs.

She said: "I didn’t know what to do when I saw the children digging. I spoke to one boy [and] he said they were making a home!

"I pointed out the landslide next to it! You can imagine his response."

The poster added that she was "so relieved" the area had been cordoned off.

The dens have been taped off to discourage others. Credit: Gorleston Coastguard

Coastguards have urged anyone who sees children digging to report it to them by ringing 999, saying that the dangers were not always obvious.

Lowestoft Coastguard said the sandy cliffs along the east coast could quickly become unstable.

They said: "During our summer, we experience a lot of rainfall. These storms can produce a vast amount of water in a short space of time. The water can make the sand heavy and cause cliff fall.

"Please do not dig into our cliffs. Do not sit or walk near the base of cliffs. It is not safe to do so."

The coastguards said the local council had been informed, as had the local holiday park, for the safety of their guests.

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