A YOUNG woman was spotted having a picnic on top of a large crack in a cliff face that saw three rock falls within two days last year.

Photographer Sid Saunders, from St Leonards, saw the woman sitting on the cliff top at Seaford Head on Tuesday.

Mr Saunders, who took photographs of the shocking sight, described his “horror” at seeing her casually eating and drinking on part of the cliffs that coastguards warned are “extremely unstable” following the series of collapses last June.

He said: “While enjoying my walk at Seaford Head, I watched a young woman walk past a metal post warning people of the cliff edge and the possibility of it being unstable.

“I was some way from her and my camera lens makes it look closer but when I looked back I could see to my horror she was sitting eating and drinking on a large crack in the chalk.

“I started to walk back up to warn her but thankfully she got up and walked away in another direction.

“If you look closely you can see the warning marker post that she ignored.

“I just wonder when the public will learn to treat the cliffs with respect.”

Tourists are regularly seen sitting on cliff edges along the coast between Seaford Head and Beachy Head, with some even dangling their feet over the edge, despite safety warnings being issued.

Residents have raised concerns that warning signs on the cliff tops are not adequate enough to keep tourists informed of the risk of rock falls due to erosion.

Around the same time of the cliff falls in Seaford, a South Korean student fell to her death while having her picture taken at the top of the cliff just east of Cuckmere Haven.

Hyewon Kim, 23, stumbled and fell over the edge after she asked fellow tourists to take her photograph.

A Lewes District Council spokeswoman said: “Members of the public should always take notice of warning signs and stay a safe distance away from the cliff edge and away from the cliff face when on the beach beneath.

“Sea cliffs are dynamic, they experience erosion constantly from the sea and the weather, consequently they are always changing.

“At some locations there are overhangs or faults in the cliffs that cannot be seen or gauged easily.”