Hope for the former Somerset pub landlady living on the edge

The former Blue Anchor pub is on the verge of collapse but could be saved by stabilisation works. Credit: ITV West Country

It has been a really tough time for pub owners this year because of the pandemic, but one in Somerset is going through a time like no other - not because of coronavirus but because her pub is on the verge of falling into the sea.

The Blue Anchor Inn near Watchet is just metres from crumbling cliffs. It had to shut in 2018 because of the erosion and is now just a home to its former landlady, Cara Strom. She is literally living on the edge.

When Cara Strom took on the Blue Anchor it was the heart and soul of the village. Credit: ITV West Country

When Cara moved in, there was no sign of any problem. She says, "Obviously there's always a risk when you have a property that's on the cliffside but there hadn't been much erosion for a very long time and then suddenly in about 2004/2005 some cracks started appearing. It gradually got worse until the main fault appeared in 2018."

Now she says, "It's got to the stage where you actually feel it inside when the waves hit the wall, so you know when high tide is. It's scary."

The pub is teetering on the edge of the cliff - at the mercy of the sea's high tides. Credit: ITV West Country

Cara has been calling or help for years and says that, without human intervention, mother nature will win.

The Bristol Channel has one of the highest tidal ranges in the world and, during storms, the waves can go right up the beach and eat away at the cliff face.

An aerial view of the pub on the precipice - does it make you feel dizzy? Credit: ITV West Country

The news that local councils have agreed to invest millions to stabilise the stretch of cliffs has come as a huge relief to Cara.

She says, "I'm really happy with the huge step that's just been taken. They've already done some emergency works on the original 1920s wall and there's, hopefully, some rock armour coming to prop up round the other side of the wall to protect what's here until the permanent solution is hopefully done."

Cara feared the next big storm would see her house collapse. She is now starting to hope that her home will be safe for many more years to come.