Fossil hunters are being urged to stay safe on the coast.

West Bay Coastguard is reminding people to not put themselves at risk, following a cliff fall at Charmouth earlier this month.

Officers conducted a patrol of Charmouth beach, checking public safety and access points, as well as the state of the cliffs.

A spokesperson for West Bay Coastguard said: “The beach to the east of Charmouth was very busy and due to the high tide, there were many members of the public contained within a small area fossil hunting around the base of the cliffs.

“Officers set out on foot to make sure there were no persons at risk and ended up chatting with a number of adults and children who were all climbing the cliffs and over the mud flows looking for fossils in places of danger.

“We spotted and photographed a welly boot stuck in the mud just two meters from the safety of the beach, which serves as an ominous reminder of how quickly you can get into difficulty.

“Officers also gave strong safety advice to a couple who had pitched a tent on the mud cliff levels, which put them at risk from the mud flows as well as debris falling from the cliff above. Thankfully they heeded our warning and were in the process of packing away their tent as we left the area.”

The team is reminding people to act responsibly when visiting beaches.

“Fossil hunting is a fantastic family activity and there is no better place to find them than on the Jurassic Coast. But please behave responsibly and don’t put yourself or your family at risk.

“Visit the Charmouth Coast Heritage Centre, take advice from the local wardens and please follow the fossil collecting code.

“Have a great time on the coast this summer, but if you find yourself in difficulty or if you see something which gives you cause for concern, do not hesitate, dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.”

The code can be found at