Rock fall takes place at cliffs between Dumpton Gap and Ramsgate

Cliff fall between Dumpton Gap and Ramsgate Photo Gill Allan

A substantial rock fall has taken place at cliffs between Dumpton Gap and Ramsgate

At this time of the year cliffs can become unstable with the mixture of lots of rain and frosty cold nights causing water to get into the ground, freezing and making gaps expand. This can then lead to sudden cliff falls.

People on the beach are advised to try to stay away from cliff bases and edges. It is also advisable to check tide times and know the risks.

A Thanet council spokesperson said: “Cliff falls are linked to coastal erosion and can occur at any time of the year. It is a naturally occurring process and chalk falls of this size are not uncommon on the unprotected sections of Thanet’s coastline.

“This particular chalk fall has occurred in a location where the approved shoreline management policy is to leave the fallen chalk in place. This policy is in line with national guidance. The fallen chalk will be gradually broken down and distributed by wave and tidal action. This natural process of erosion by the sea contributes to the sediments which are an important part of our natural coastal environment.

“Members of the public are advised to stay well clear of the edge and base of cliffs at all times when visiting Thanet’s beaches. Beach walkers should be aware of the increased risk of being cut off by the tide due to the fallen chalk.”

Neil Morgan, from the RNLI water safety team, said the team hold ‘Tidal Cut Off’  walks between Winterstoke beach (Ramsgate) and Dumpton Gap (Broadstairs).

He added: “Team members walk the stretch between these points talking to members of public advising how to stay safe.”

Example of advice given:

How can I tell if cliffs are stable?

  • Cliffs are often more unstable than they look, and rockslides or cliff falls can happen at any time.
  • Stay safe, keep well back from cliff edges and a good distance from the bases of cliffs.
  • Look for resent cliff falls.
  • Avoid using base of cliffs for things like picnics.

If you witness the start of a cliff slip, vacate the area immediately and report it to the Coastguard.

In a coastal emergency dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard

2 Comments

  1. What happens when the road above eventually falls into the sea and the residents in the houses above are cut off ? Not to mention the coastal path as well ?

  2. The damage to the hollowed out cliff will soon see the popular foot and cycle path -that is part of the Viking coastal trail between Broadstairs and Ramsgate -fall into the see, blocking access to the King George V Park along the coast.

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