A MAJOR clear-up operation is now under way in West Dorset following the severe storms that have crashed into the coast.

Beaches in Lyme Regis were strewn with litter washed up from the beaches and trees that had also been washed up, with some trees measuring up to 30 feet long.

Now teams will get to work on clearing the beaches and repairing the damage caused by the ‘unprecedented’ weather.

Grahame Forshaw, Lyme Regis harbourmaster, said: “We are still assessing the damage.

“At the moment, we have broken hand rails, broken steps, some equipment has been swept away and the buildings have all been damaged by the weather.

“There has been some damage to the Cobb. There are no foundations to The Cobb structure so when you get weather like this you are bound to get a little bit of movement and it is exacerbated by the waves that are coming in. These storms are the worst in living memory.

“It is quite difficult to put a figure on it but I would estimate that to fix everything it would cost between £50,000 and £70,000.”

Coun Chris Clipson, chairman of the Lyme Regis Town Management Committee, said: “Lyme Regis Town Council’s land and property suffered minimal damage compared to other areas along the coast.

“The cost to repair the day huts, which were damaged last week, will be around £300, as well as extra labour from the external works team.

“Lyme Regis has had to face increasingly bad weather over the last few weeks.

“If the sea defences had not been there, the damage to the seafront would possibly have been much worse.”