An expert has explained why the West Bay cliffs have been particularly prone to rock falls over recent months.

Any time a new rockfall occurs, the cliff face either side of the collapse is left fragile and more vulnerable to further falls.

Sam Scriven, geologist at the Jurassic Coast Trust, said: “Of course the cliff falls are a natural part of the process and they have definitely been more frequent over the last five to 10 years or so - there's no question of that.

“Any time there is a new rock fall, it may leave the cliff faces either side of that collapse more fragile and more vulnerable to further falls. But this one, particularly recently where there was two fold falls very close together, the bit between them that might be even more vulnerable.

“We would always advise people to only ever if they're going to explore the code, do so at very low tide and keep well away from the cliff face, and of course, stay away from the cliff edge if you're on the coast path.”

The three most recent rockfalls at East Cliff have all taken place in a similar location.

The most recent happened on Monday, January 29, 2024, and was three separate rockfalls, Dorset Council said.

Previously, on Monday, December 11, 2023, a huge landslide saw tonnes of rock fall from the cliff and onto the beach below after a week of torrential rain and flooding across Dorset.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: Monday, December 11, 2023Monday, December 11, 2023 (Image: Graham Hunt Photography)

On Friday, November 3 another huge rockfall occurred at the same location which appeared to be a result of the treacherous weather conditions brought along by Storm Ciarán.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: Friday, November 3Friday, November 3 (Image: West Bay Photography)

Dorset Council has issued the following advice about rock falls:

1. Stay away from the edge of the cliff top - admire the view from a safe distance.

2. Stay away from the base of cliffs: rock falls and landslides can happen at any time. If you are under a rock fall, the likelihood is you will die.

3. Pay attention to warning signs – they are there for your safety.

4. Check tide times before you set off to avoid being cut off by incoming tides.

5. Keep dogs on leads near the cliff edge.