New landslide on tragedy site at Burton Bradstock

TAKE HEED: A section of Burton Bradstock beach closed due to a landslip

TRAGEDY: Charlotte Blackman

First published in Bridport by

A NEW landslide has hit the section of coast at Burton Bradstock where tragic Charlotte Blackman was killed in July.

The ‘significant’ rockfall was discovered on the shore by a National Trust ranger near the Hive Beach end of the stretch on a routine patrol.

The National Trust and coastguards are warning people to keep away from the scene as the cliffs remain unpredictable.

Charlotte Blackman was buried under a massive landslide in July on the same section of coastline, but closer to the Freshwater end, nearer Bridport.

Mark Collins, who is West Bay coastguard station officer, said: “This is why we give safety advice about keeping away from the base of the cliffs.

“If anyone had been walking underneath it may have been very different.”

The National Trust owns the distinctive section of cliffs and coastline where Charlotte Blackman was killed and where the latest rockfall happened.

A ranger spotted the debris at about 11am on January 11 while on a routine monitoring visit to Burton Bradstock.

The National Trust alerted coastguards and the police about the development.

A spokesman for the trust said: “We would urge people to stay away.

“The beach and South West Coast Path between Hive Beach and Freshwater Caravan Park is closed.

“People visiting the coast must take a moment to read warning signs in car parks and on nearby paths and to follow the advice for their safety.

“It highlights that this is a dynamic and changing environment. The coastline is constantly eroding and it is very difficult to predict when these incidents will happen.”

Steve Attrill, from the Hive Beach Café, said despite the landfalls from Burton cliffs the beach itself is not closed.

He said: “If you come to Burton beach and turn right I agree it should be closed but there are 12 or 13 miles of beach beyond Burton cliffs where you can go on to the beach and the beach directly in front of the café has no cliffs.

“We have taken 20-plus years to build tourism up on Burton beach and we employ 62 members of staff through the businesses.

“It could be detrimental to the coming season.

“We want people to come to the beach.

“We have had a really hard time this year with the weather and we don’t need the message that the beach is closed coming across on top of it.”

‘Sudden act of nature’ killed stroller

HOLIDAYMAKER Charlotte Blackman died on July 24 when strolling along Freshwater Beach, near Burton Bradstock.

Some 400 tonnes of rock crashed down on top of the 22-year-old as she walked along the beach with her family.

An inquest into her death at Dorchester was told that the rockfall was a ‘sudden act of nature’ which no one could have predicted.

Charlotte, 22, of Heanor in Derbyshire, died despite a major rescue operation which lasted into the night.

The inquest was told that she died instantly and that there was no chance of her surviving or of anyone being able to pull her out alive.

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