A huge crack opened up at the top of cliffs in East Sussex.

Walkers have been warned |to keep away from the |cliff edge and the base at Birling Gap, near |Eastbourne.

The National Trust, which is responsible for this stretch of picturesque coastline, said the chalk cliffs have suffered around seven years of erosion in just two months.


Jane Cecil, National Trust general manager for the South Downs, said: “We do get these cracks at Birling Gap from time to time.

“But with the weather we have had lately, the chalk has become so wet and heavy, we are likely to see more emerging.

“We have had really high winds, combined with high tides, and that seems to have pulled a lot of the shingle off the beach.

“That has resulted in waves being able to get right to the base of the cliff, and all the rain has absorbed into the chalk and caused it to become heavy.”

She added: “It's a combination of losing protection at the base of the cliff and the weight of the chalk due to the heavy rain that has resulted in these cracks.”

The beach at Birling Gap |has been shut since new |year after steps leading down to it were damaged in the storms.