A LARGE landslip in west Dorset has caused hundreds of tonnes of rock to block off a beach.

The fall happened at Stonebarrow Beach near Charmouth at about 12pm yesterday, with witnesses describing the fall as 'dangerous' and 'active'.

Visitors are being advised to stay away from the area due to the threat of secondary slips which may happen without warning.

The fall comes amid calls for more safety measures at west Dorset beaches following a number of incidents in recent months.

The Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre in Lower Sea Lane was one of the first to spot the latest fall today.

Paleontologist Phil Davidson said that 'hundreds of tonnes' of rock has completely blocked off the beach.

He added that this slip is the largest at Charmouth for several years and comes after recent large falls at Burton Bradstock and West Bay. 

"It is still moving and active and it is going to cut the beach off when the tide comes in," he said.

"There is a danger of more falling with it being very unstable in that area and with people getting cut off by the tide.

"I went up with a few guys from the council to warn people and get them to step back.

"There were about 10 people on the far side of the landslip and they managed to safely walk them back to the front.

"When it started rumbling and tumbling people were aware and stayed right back."

Mr Davidson has urged people to adhere to safety signage at the coast and stay away from the base and edge of cliffs in the wake of the incident.

"Just read the signage because the coast changes every day. It will hopefully go up within the next day or so," he said.

"Stay away from active landslips or any kind of exposed places because we are prone to getting slips at the moment.

"We have had slips at Burton Bradstock and now this big one here."