ENORMOUS cracks have formed at the top of a cliff just days after a danger warning was issued.

The huge fissures can be seen at the top of the cliffs at Birling Gap, near the Belle Tout lighthouse, with a large chunk of rock threatening to fall on to the beach below.

Only days before the cracks worsened, a visitor to Birling Gap was pictured posing on the damaged cliff top.

RNLI coxswain Mark Sawyer said, while he could appreciate the pull of the area’s stunning views, people had to be more careful as parts of the cliffs were at risk of collapse.

He said: “It does look fine from the top but what people can’t see, as we do from the lifeboats, is how it’s underpinned.

“They can’t see the erosion underneath them.

"There’s some huge holes underneath the earth and the grass up there. There’s no chalk at all. It’s a matter of time before those cliffs go.”

READ MORE>>>Picture show years of risk-taking at Birling Gap cliffs

This is exactly what has happened in the last few days, with the cracks in the rocks worsening to the point where coastguard crews saw fit to fence off the area to prevent visitors from venturing close to the precipice.

Birling Gap and the nearby Seven Sisters are both National Trust sites.

As a result of a series of considerable cliff falls in the area in recent years, the organisation has a section of its website dedicated to advising people on how to stay safe when visiting the picturesque attractions.

The Argus:

It states: “The Seven Sisters and the chalk cliffs are constantly changing. This creates the beautiful coastline that we see today.

“Cliff falls and erosion are part of this changing landscape.

“Cliff falls and landslides can happen at any time and without warning. We advise visitors to act sensibly when visiting the area and to stay away from the cliff edge.

“We have permanent signs in place warning visitors of the danger. It isn’t safe to sit or stand close to the edge of the cliffs, they may be unstable or undercut in places.

The Argus:

“We also advise visitors to stay away from the base of the cliffs when walking on the beach in case of cliff falls.

“The Seven Sisters and Birling Gap are wonderful places to visit, but it’s important to use common sense and caution – and always pay attention to warning signs and messages about how to stay safe.

“As with all natural or wild environments, it is important to take care and treat the outdoors with respect.”