Jurassic Coast suffers largest rockfall in 60 years as boulders the size of cars crash into the sea

Connor Parker
·3 min read
The 4,000-ton rockfall at Seatown has blocked off the beach between Seatown and Eype Beach, part of the historic Jurassic Coast. The cliff fall is thought to be the biggest in 60 years.(Getty)
The 4,000-ton rockfall at Seatown is part of the historic Jurassic Coast. The cliff fall is thought to be the biggest in 60 years. (Getty)

One of the most recognisable and historically significant coastlines in the UK has seen a sizeable section of cliff collapse into the sea.

The Jurassic Coast suffered its largest rockfall in 60 years on Tuesday after boulders the size of cars came crashing down the cliffs.

Dorset Council has cordoned off large areas of the coastline after an initial rockfall led to several more landslides.

The collapse has blocked off the beach between Seatown and Eype. (Getty)
The collapse has blocked off the beach between Seatown and Eype. (Getty)

It is believed around 4,000 tonnes of earth across 300 metres of the World Heritage Site has fallen onto the beaches below.

The collapse near Seatown saw entire trees pulled out of the earth and thrown into the sea.

The landslide has blocked the beach path between Seatown and Eype.

The view of the cliff before the rockfall. (PA)
The view of the cliff before the rockfall. (PA)
The Jurassic Coast is an Area of Outstanding Beauty. (PA)
The Jurassic Coast is a World Heritage Site. (PA)

Dorset Council said on Tuesday: "There has been substantial rock fall between Seatown and Eype Beach. Further movement is expected with fresh cracks, affecting the fence line but not the Coast Path.

"For your safety keep clear of tops and bases of cliffs when out and about."

Then after another landslide the council said: "The cliff is still very unstable and more is expected to be lost. Please take notice of safety signs."

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Large areas of the south coast of England are under threat from coastal erosion.

There have been numerous collapses in the region in the last few months.

There was a large rockfall in Eype in November and a part of the famous White Cliffs of Dover collapsed into the sea in February.

The National Trust has warned several of the UK's most beautiful coastal regions are threatened by coastal erosion over the next 40 years.

BURTON BRADSTOCK, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 17: General view of the large cliff fall at Hive beach on December 17, 2020 in Burton Bradstock, Dorset, England. Dorset Council said its rangers are currently at the scene to assess the rock fall and the coastal path on cliffs above. (Photo by Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)
The aftermath of a rockfall at Hive beach in Dorset in December. (Getty)

The problem is expected to get worse as climate change leads to rising sea levels and more storms, all of which speed up the process of damaging coastlines.

Student geologist Jodie Brewin told ITV: "Basically it's to do with re-weathering and erosion that basically falls hand-in-hand and shapes this coastline."

The Jurassic Coast stretches across the south-west coast of England from East Devon to Dorset, covering a distance of almost 100 miles.

It was made a World Heritage Site in 2001. 

The area spans 185 million years of geological history as coastal erosion has exposed rock formation over millions of years.

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