Walkers warned over ‘dangerous’ cliffs as coastal erosion bites

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VISITORS to the East Coast are being urged to stay away from cliff tops after the North Sea took another bite out of one of the fastest eroding coastlines in Europe.

Up to 12ft of the crumbling coastline just south of the village of Skipsea has disappeared in the last month, compared to the average rate of attrition in the area of about 4ft a year.

The biggest chunk has fallen away on the cliff top just below a footpath in an area known as Withow Gap.

The path leads to Mr Moo’s dairy farm and ice cream parlour.

East Riding Council said the area is now “extremely dangerous” and has dispatched engineers to the site to assess and monitor the situation.

However, the council is not thought to have the authority to put up warning signs as the path leading to the cliff top is not a public right of way and was created by an agreement between the landowners and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. It is to contact Defra to urge officials to take action.

Coun Jane Evison, member for East Wolds and Coastal and portfolio holder for economic development, tourism and rural issues, said: “It’s coastal erosion and it’s taken an awful lot of land out of this particular area.

“We need to tell people to be careful. Local people know the cliffs are dangerous but people visiting the area might not be quite so aware and we need to make sure they know it’s dangerous and take care.”

Judith Foreman, who runs Mr Moo’s with her husband, said: “It’s very dangerous, and because of the high tides of the last three or four weeks it’s taken a big chunk out and left a 10ft drop to the beach.

“A lot of people come to scramble down to the beach because the beach is lovely, fishermen and families coming to the coast for the day, but it’s very slippery at the moment.

“There’s nothing anyone can do because it’s been going on since Holderness came into existence but it flags up that the cliff at the moment is unstable. They need to take care.”

She added: “People can still come and park in our car park and stroll along the cliffs but they need to take care.”

The cliffs are a Site of Special Scientific Interest and are regularly used by walkers and dog owners.