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UPDATED: Beach closed after major landslide on Jurassic Coast
1:39pm Monday 11th February 2013 in Latest
UPDATED: POLICE, coastguard, Natural England and Lyme Regis Town Council representatives are still warning the public to stay well away Monmouth Beach following a substantial landslip on Monday.
The beach was closed on Monday and Tom Sunderland from Natural England said it was likely to remain so for the next few days until the land stabilised.
It appears the slip is no longer falling – as it did for hours on Monday but the message is still to keep away.
Lyme Regis Town Council clerk John Wright said Natural England maintained a physical presence until dark on Monday.
He said: “We advise people not to go near the area. The cliff appeared to have stopped falling when I looked on Tuesday morning but we are continuing to monitor the situation.”
Mr Sunderland added: “It is a reasonable landslide on Monmouth Beach we have closed the beach probably for the next couple of days until it stabilises itself.
“This stretch of beach is always unstable and people always have to take care but just occasionally we do get these quite impressive bits of movement and cliff falls which is what we are seeing at the moment.”
He said once experts decided the cliff was stable the beach would be re-opened possibly in the next few days.
East Devon District Councillor Ian Thomas of Lyme Alpacas saw the coastguard helicopter hovering over his farm at the top of the cliff.
He said thankfully the slip didn’t involve his land – quite.
He said: “Thankfully it is very nicely posed nine inches beyond our fence line.
“All the bit that was beyond it is gone over a stretch of about 30 metres. We have a drop just beyond the fence. If it stops there it would be nice but I would be absolutely amazed if it did.
“It is one of the most active places in Europe – part of it’s threat is its attraction He said he would be moving his alpacas out of harms way.
He added: “At least we get an even better sea view than we had before.”
On Monday the Maritime Coastguard agency advised people on Twitter to keep away from the area.
A spokesman for the coastguards said it was a large landslip.
He said: “Apparently some members of the public saw this happening and saw there was nobody underneath.
“Our helicopter was on training so we asked them to fly down and look.
“The Lyme Regis team was called out to stop anybody going near the area until the council and Natural England could secure the area.
“Once the council has control we bow out.”
Lyme Regis Coastguard officer Graham Turner said it was a massive fall – the likes of which he’d never seen before.
He said: “It’s huge. I have never seen anything quite like it in all the time I have been here.
“It started in the morning and it just kept on falling and falling.”
Lyme artist Julie Oldfield, who is busy with a project on landslips, saw it happening around mid-morning.
She said it was ‘mesmerising’.
She said: “I was on the beach collecting driftwood and I saw it all come down. It kept going on and on for ages.
“The dramatic bits were the trees coming down because the noise was quite loud.
“As I was trying to walk back along the beach I kept having to turn around because I heard these big loud crashes.
“It was so absorbing watching it, you can’t leave, it was mesmerising.”