New video: Experts warn more Whitby landslips possible

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More rocks falls and landslips are possible along parts of the North Yorkshire’s sodden coast, council bosses in Scarborough warned last night.

The warnings come as work continued at St Mary’s Church, in Whitby, to stabilise the cliff after a series of landslips over the last two months have dislodged banks of earth containing human remains from graves at the churchyard.

The landslide above St Marys Church, Whitby.

The landslide above St Marys Church, Whitby.

Whitby’s mayor, John Freeman, said: “The fact that the graveyard is sliding as well is a very disturbing thing for most people.”

But he said it was something that happened suddenly and it wasn’t something that could really be prepared for.

A spokeswoman for the Diocese of York, which is undertaking the engineering work, stressed the church is not in danger of collapse. She said the building is anchored to solid rock and said the graveyard closed more than 100 years ago and the human remains which have come down the cliff are quite old.

Scarborough Borough Council last night urged residents to be vigilant after the area was hit by further rock falls and landslips over the Christmas and New Year period.

In Whitby there have been rock falls in Khyber Pass and The Cragg, while in Scarborough a slump of cliff material behind the Clock Cafe in South Bay has led to the closure of some nearby footpaths.

Engineers are also monitoring a progressive landslide at Church Ravine in Filey which has the potential to affect footpaths.

Coun Mike Cockerill, the council’s cabinet member for harbours, assets, coast and flood protection said it did not wish to cause undue alarm but wanted to make people aware of the dangers.