Parents with toddler pitch tent under dangerously unstable cliff in Dorset


Parents with toddler pitch tent under dangerously unstable cliff in Dorset

A young couple with a toddler pitched a tent at the foot of a Dorset cliff prone to rockfalls before spending the night there.

Beachgoers were shocked to see that the family had ignored the warning signs under the cliff at Burton Bradstock, which reads: 'Danger - Rockfalls. Serious risk of injury or death. Stay away from the cliffs.'

According to the Daily Mail, camped illegally on the stone beach less than a day after a landslide nearby at East Cliff, West Bay.

They reportedly slept just down the coast from where holidaymaker Charlotte Blackman, 22, was killed last year by a landslide on Freshwater beach.

Speaking to the Dorset Echo, Dough Randle, 58, from Weymouth, expressed his shock at seeing the family emerging from their tent.

"I was aware of the recent landslip at West Bay so I was so surprised to see a couple, along with their small child, camping underneath these unstable cliffs.

"Without a doubt this family was dicing with death and risking their lives.

"I couldn't believe what I was seeing.

"They emerged unhurried and seemingly oblivious to the potentially lethal situation they had been in.

He added: "I wish I'd gone up to them and said 'why didn't you see the signs?' I can't believe that even if they arrived in the dark they didn't have enough illumination to see the signs."

A Portland Coastguard spokesman reissued a warning and said: "Do not camp anywhere close to the cliff face - the whole of the coastline is extremely fragile.

"If you are going to walk along the beach, walk along the shoreline.

"Enjoy it, but be conscious that it's fragile."

According to the Daily Mail, overnight camping on beaches along the Jurassic Coast is also banned as they are owned by the National Trust.

In July 2012, Charlotte Blackman, from Derbyshire, was on holiday with her family and boyfriend in Dorset when part of a 160-ft cliff face collapsed and sent a heap of rocks falling onto her at Hive Beach. After a nine-hour search, Charlotte's body was found under rubble at the popular holiday location in Burton Bradstock.

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