These dramatic photos show the sheer size of a rockfall which saw a huge chunk of cliff crash on to a beach. 

Part of West Bay's East Cliff collapsed on Friday. 

Photographer Simon Willmott captured these incredible images on his drone. 

It's the second rockfall to hit the same area in a month and the spot which saw a 1,000-tonne fall last year. 

A spokesman for Dorset Council said: "There's been a significant cliff fall at West Bay. 

"Although they are more likely to occur after heavy rainfall or storms, rock falls and landslides can happen at any time." 

What causes rockfalls? 

The coastline is continually being eroded and rock falls and landslides are part of this process.

Sam Scriven, the Jurassic Coast Trust’s geological expert, says the location of West Bay’s cliffs means they face the full force of any storm and bear the brunt of bad weather.

"There is definitely a relationship between the cliffs and extreme weather," he said.

"We’ve also seen cliffs collapse in dry periods, so robust weather does have an effect.

“I don’t think there can be any doubt that this section of cliff in general is currently in a condition where it is more susceptible to falls.

"My view is that we are experiencing an active period during a long cyclic pattern of erosion and there are many other parts of the cliff face that appear to be similarly vulnerable.”

Bridport and Lyme Regis News:


Can we still visit the beach?

East Beach and the coast path are still accessible.

Mr Scriven has previously said people should respect the landscape and use common sense at the beach.

“People think of the British seaside as a lovely, safe, family place but the beach is part of the wilderness and nature is doing its thing there," he said.

"People need to be respectful of that. We can’t close off the beach but people need to be aware of the risks. They are beautiful cliffs and people like to marvel at them but respect them as you would the sea and act responsibly.”

Advice when visiting the beach 

  •  Do not take unnecessary risks and stay away from the edge of the cliff top

• Stay away from the base of cliffs: rock falls can happen at any time
• Do not climb or walk over landslide or rock fall debris, especially after wet weather
• Always pay attention to warning signs; they are there to advise you on how to stay safe

  • Check tide times before you set off- avoid being cut off by incoming tides
  • Be aware of mud flows
  • Keep dogs on leads near the cliff edge

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Huge chunk of cliff crashes onto beach