1. ITV Report

Warning over Weymouth Jurassic Coast cliff crack

Peering over the edge - this latest slip happened very quickly Credit: ITV News

Walkers are being warned about a large crack which has appeared in cliffs near Weymouth on the Dorset coast.

Credit: ITV News

Dorset County Council says the section of coast between Bowleaze Cove and Redcliff Point in Preston near Weymouth is currently active - and has moved around a metre since Friday 8 April.

This is a well-known area for landslips due to its geology of permeable limestone over impermeable clay. The movement has been going on for several years but this latest slip has happened quickly.

– Dorset County Council
Credit: ITV News

A footpath on the seaward side of the crack has been closed, but the South West Coast Path is unaffected. Just one section of the path runs alongside a large crack, and it's clearly visible.

Credit: ITV News

Dr Sam Rose, Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site team manager, said: “This is a relatively common occurrence at this location – and erosion is what our coastline is all about."

It’s this natural process that makes the coast such a beautiful place. However, people need to be aware of their surroundings and look out for the risks.

– Dr Sam Rose

Agencies are monitoring the ground surrounding the crack, and the County Council have issued the following advice:

  • Always stay away from the cliffs (top and bottom ) – landslides and rock falls are more likely to happen after heavy rainfall or storms but can, and do, happen anytime
  • Mud flows may extend across the beaches – be alert; they can look deceptively like the beach itself
  • Never ignore a warning sign – they are there for your safety
  • Check tide times before you set off on a beach walk or fossil hunting adventure to avoid being cut off