"Don't risk your life" - landslip still a risk, yet warning signs go ignored

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CIVIC leaders have reminded people to exercise caution on Swanage beach because of the continued landslip risk.

However, tourism chiefs stress people should not be put off coming to Swanage as there is still “plenty of beach to enjoy.”

A number of recent landslides have caused debris to fall onto the sea wall and beach.

Warning signs are in place, but authorities say some people are ignoring them. The sea wall is now impassable beyond Burlington Chine and is likely to remain so for some time.

Swanage Mayor Bill Trite said: “We are very concerned that some people are ignoring the warning signs and getting dangerously close to the unstable cliffs.

“The landslips are still active so please be sensible, take notice of the warning signs and keep away from those parts of the beach to which the signs refer.”

Heavy December rain caused a number of landslips, then further wet weather, last month, exacerbated the situation, with significant slippages to the north of Ocean Bay.

The ground remains waterlogged so agencies including Purbeck District Council, Dorset County Council, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and the Environment Agency are asking people to heed the warnings.

Cllr Ian Brown, chairman of Swanage Town Council’s tourism committee, said: “There is still plenty of beach to enjoy in Swanage, so please don’t stay away. Come and enjoy the surroundings, just don’t risk your life or that of your loved ones.”

High seas have washed away sand levels between groynes in some places, making them difficult to cross. Elsewhere, there is also a danger of people getting stuck in the mud that has fallen onto the beach.

For safety reasons it is recommended the far end of the beach is accessed via the South West Coast path and Shep’s Hollow.

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