Path safety warning as coastal cliff crumbles
Published at 15:15, Tuesday, 15 February 2011
A popular Cumbrian footpath has been closed off after 40 metres of land came crashing down last night.
Police immediately sealed off the area at St Bees Head at around 10pm and have issued an urgent warning for people to stay clear.
Whitehaven coastguard got reports that 40m of rock had fallen just above a caravan park on the beach.
A spokesman said that the path poses a dangernow as it is only 1.5m away from the cliff face.
He said that the problem now is people walking from the Whitehaven side of the coastal walk south to St Bees, as they would only find out about the dangers when they got to the village.
The coastline, which runs from St Bees to Whitehaven, has been the scene of several landslides in the past few years.
Four years ago a Frizington woman was killed when a section of crumbling rock crashed onto her.
Caroline Palser, 50, was walking with her partner along South Beach at Whitehaven when she was buried under tons of rubble following the landslide when the cliff face collapsed.
Since the incident a huge amount of money has been spent to upgrade the coastline, with public footpaths, which were becoming a danger to the public, being permanently closed.
The footpath which runs along the coastline from the Candlestick Chimney in Whitehaven to Saltom Pit in Kells has also been closed off because it was deemed too dangerous.
And in December work started on another section of dangerous cliff in north Whitehaven at Bransty, which was slipping away.
The cliff top at Bransty has been fenced off since the end of 2009 and a footpath which runs along it was closed because it was not safe for the public to use.
Last year Copeland council bought a house at the bottom of Bransty cliffs, off the Wagon Road, to demolish it because it was at risk from falling rocks.
St Bees is the start of the Coast to Coast walk which finishes at Robin Hood’s Bay in the North East.
This has worried St Bees councillor Norman Clarkson. He said: “Safety of the public is paramount.
“I will be looking into it today and finding out what has happened. It is part of the Wainwright Coast to Coast walk and if it is affected, there is going to be some people coming here to start the walk who will be terribly disappointed.”
Published by http://www.whitehavennews.co.uk
Have your say
We can see the cliff from our living room window. People are still walking up over the "closed" footpath, and right up to the base of the cliff to look at the landslip!
Evolution in action ladies and gentlemen - if people are foolish enough to knowingly risk themselves this way - they will not be part of the human race much longer. Darwin would be delighted to see his theory being so beautifully demonstrated.
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