Sightseers sit ‘dangerously close’ to edge of ‘fragile’ cliff | UK News


Sightseers sit ‘dangerously close’ to edge of ‘fragile’ cliff | UK News

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The shocking photos were taken at Birling Gap in East Sussex, where public warnings are in place for the ‘fragile’, ‘soft’ cliffs (Picture: SWNS)

A photographer captured the moment a man sat terrifyingly close to the edge of a ‘fragile’ cliff. 

JJ Waller took the images at Birling Gap in East Sussex, where there are signs warning the public not to venture too close to the edge because the ‘soft’ chalk could collapse at any moment. 

The photo shows a sightseer casually smoking a cigarette while swinging his feet above a roughly 400ft drop – itself just miles away from the sites of two other recent collapses. 

Those collapses, which took place at Seaford Head and Peacehaven, prompted local councils and the coastguard to launch a campaign warning the public of the dangers of unstable cliffs. 

Mr Waller’s photos show how for some, these warnings would appear to have fallen on deaf ears. 

He said: ‘This is almost a daily occurrence despite the warnings. 

‘Visitors aren’t aware of how soft the chalk is – and crowds flock to this spot in search of the all-important selfies

Mr Waller says that the young man in the photo isn’t alone – that in fact people venturing too close to the edge is an almost ‘daily’ occurrence (Picture: JJ Waller/SWNS)

‘While it is a beautiful location, it demands respect and care. Never go by the edge.’

A spokesman for East Sussex County Council said in a statement: ‘We continue to see people getting perilously close to the edge of the cliffs without realising the dangers.

‘The cliffs contain many overhangs and cracks that visitors may not be able to see, and the unstable chalk can fall at any time with absolutely no warning.

‘We want to encourage people to continue to visit the area safely. Do not ignore the signs and keep well away from the edge.

‘Getting the perfect selfie is not worth taking a risk with your life.’

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A representative for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency added: ‘The cliffs along the UK coastline are continually eroding, with pieces falling from them that can be just a few small rocks or as large as a car.

‘It’s impossible to predict when the next piece might fall or how big it will be.

‘We really can’t stress enough how important it is to keep back from the edge. There is no ‘safe’ place to be.

‘If cracks have appeared even if they are several feet away from the edge, don’t be tempted to go and investigate and don’t risk going to the edge to get a dramatic picture.

‘Please enjoy your coastal walk, but make sure you and your loved ones come home again safely.’

It follows after on Good Friday, more than 400 tonnes of rockfall collapsed onto a beach in Dorset – just metres away from a number of families out on a stroll for the Easter holidays.

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