A WOMAN snatched a young girl away from a cliff edge as the youngster shuffled treacherously close towards the precipice.

The child leaned over and stared down the 400ft sheer drop at Birling Gap before her arm was grabbed and she was pulled away yesterday.

Today, authorities have issued a series of sharp warning pleading with people to be careful when visiting the picturesque white cliffs.

A spokesman for Eastbourne Borough Council said: “In recent days there has been a cliff fall in Peacehaven, a person trapped by the tide in Seaford and people sitting on the edge of the cliff in Eastbourne.

The Argus:

“Cliff falls can happen at any time.

“Stay well away from cliff edges and bases.”

But, despite this warning, the reckless behaviour has continued.

Today, several people have been warned by coastguard crews after standing dangerously close to the edge of the cliffs.

The Argus:

In 2017, Korean student Hyewon Kim fell 200ft to her death as she had her picture taken at the top of the cliffs.

But she lost her balance and stumbled backwards, falling off the cliff.

She had asked fellow tourists to take a photograph of her on the crumbling cliff’s edge and jumped to pose for the camera.

The cliffs stretching along the Sussex coast are also prone to collapse, adding to the danger.

The Argus:

In March, rubble toppled at the foot of steps leading down to the sea in Saltdean - 14 miles west of Birling Gap.

The beach at Birling Gap was closed as Newhaven Coastguard warned “there is every chance of further chalk falls in the area”.

A spokesman added: “Please keep well away from the base of the cliffs. There is often no warning of a chalk fall and you would not be able to outrun it.”

Birling Gap was quiet for much of the UK lockdown as car parks were closed to discourage visitors.

The Argus:

But, with the loosening of lockdown measures on May 13 allowing people to take an unlimited amount of outdoor exercise and drive to public spaces for recreation, the beauty spot has seen an influx of visitors.

A huge number of people descended on the cliffs the weekend after the guidelines were eased, with video of the site showing hundreds of cars filling the car parks - as well as being parked on grass verges lining the roads leaning up to the beauty spot.

The Argus:

Eastbourne resident Jacqui Ridler said she was “shocked to see so many cars”.

She said that, having lived in nearby Eastbourne for 18 years, she had “ever seen that many in the area”.