ROCK experts have offered advice to the public, following concern over the safety of Dorset’s cliffs after a large crack appeared last week.

A cordon was put up last Wednesday, October 21, after a crack opened up in the top of the cliff near Highlands End Caravan Park, West Bay.

Bran Acres, a coastal ranger for the Dorset countryside, said: “The cliff edge has been monitored since 2017, over the last couple of years small fracture lines developed, however this autumn substantial movement was recorded to the extent that a hole developed of which was considered an immediate risk to walkers.

“The cordon put in place was firstly on the premise that no user would come close to the cavity and we could further monitor its development without intervention from the public. Secondly, it was believed this was the beginning of the cliffs failure at this point.

“In consequence we are working with the land owner to have the path moved back, part of our strategic management as with numerous sections of coastal path in Dorset.”

As it stands the cordon is still in place restricting access to the cliff top. However, there is a 2 metre wide path available to the public.

Dorset-based geologist, Richard Edmonds, said: “We’re entering the winter and the pattern of extreme rainfall seems to be starting again. Extreme rainfall generates an increased risk of rockfalls and landslides.

“People need to be aware, particularly when on the beach underneath cliffs, that it only takes a small rock to fall off to cause an injury.

Usually takes a few months for winter rain to have enough of an effect to cause any sort of landslide but you can never be too sure.”