A cliff has given way, leading to another significant rockfall in Dorset.

Tonnes of rock have crashed onto East Beach at West Bay.

A section of East Cliff gave way on Tuesday night.

It comes after periods of torrential rain over the past few days followed by warm weather.

Storm Antoni battered parts of Dorset with heavy rain and strong winds on Saturday. 

The latest rockfall serves as a reminder of the danger at the coast.
Bournemouth Echo: Rockfall at West Bay on Tuesday night Picture: Robert CoxRockfall at West Bay on Tuesday night Picture: Robert Cox (Image: Robert Cox)

A massive landslide blocked off the beach at Seatown just over two weeks ago. 

It is believed to have been the biggest in recent years.

West Bay saw a huge cliff fall in the same area as tonight's fall back in May.

East Cliff gave way on a Sunday evening when, just two hours before, the beach had been busy with locals and holidaymakers making the most of a scorching hot day.

Bournemouth Echo: Cliff fall at West Bay on August 8, 2023. Picture: Robert CoxCliff fall at West Bay on August 8, 2023. Picture: Robert Cox (Image: Robert Cox)

Despite this, and the many warning signs in place, people were pictured at the cliff edge just three days later.

And the Esplanade remains closed off to the public due to a rockfall at West Cliff back in January. 
Bournemouth Echo:

A Dorset Council spokesperson said at the time: "Rockfalls can, and do, happen at any time.

"The Jurassic Coast looks the way it does because of erosion - meaning it is always on the move.

"It is a wonderful place to visit, but it's important to use common sense and caution – stay away from the edge and base of cliffs and always pay attention to warning signs and safety messages."

In the past, geologist Sam Scriven told us the location of West Bay’s cliffs means they face the ‘full force’ of any storm and ‘bear the brunt’ of bad weather.

He said people should respect the landscape and use common sense at the beach.

“People think of the British seaside as a lovely, safe, family place but the beach is part of the wilderness and nature is doing its thing there," he said.

"People need to be respectful of that. We can’t close off the beach but people need to be aware of the risks. They are beautiful cliffs and people like to marvel at them but respect them as you would the sea and act responsibly.”

Advice for visiting the coast:

  • Do not take unnecessary risks and stay away from the edge of the cliff top
  • Stay away from the base of cliffs: rock falls can happen at any time
  • Do not climb or walk over landslide or rock fall debris, especially after wet weather
  • Always pay attention to warning signs; they are there to advise you on how to stay safe
  • Check tide times before you set off- avoid being cut off by incoming tides
  • Be aware of mud flows
  • Keep dogs on leads near the cliff edge
  • Admire the view from a safe distance
  • Enjoy the open spaces and keep well clear of the cliffs
  • Beware of steep, shelving beaches and large waves
  • Don’t hammer into the cliffs or solid rock looking for fossils