A beauty spot café that is no longer safe for visitors is being demolished. 

The National Trust, which operates the Birling Gap Visitor Centre, is taking down the front section of the building that used to house the café due to safety fears over the continually eroding cliffs. 

Work to take down the front section of the centre began today and the rest of the west wing is also due to be demolished.

Birling Gap Beach has been closed at times throughout this year due to rock falls.

A National Trust spokeswoman said: “Through the course of this year we’ve been moving our café and visitor centre to the rear of the building, so that we can adapt to coastal change here and continue to welcome visitors to the café here.

"The final part of the process is taking place now, to take down the front of the building and keep it safe from future storms and cliff erosion. The building has the same footprint as before, with just the front section removed.

“The visitor building here at Birling Gap sits on a shoreline that's constantly changing due to rising sea levels, erosion and weathering.

"These natural processes have been occurring for centuries and have shaped Birling Gap and the Seven Sisters that are seen here today. The National Trust takes a long-term view to planning for the future by working with these coastal processes where possible.”

Between 2010 and 2013 plans were developed for the building at Birling Gap, which had previously been a hotel and bar, to become a visitor centre and cafe.

The work was completed in 2013 but in January 2014 there was a series of cliff falls.

The National Trust said altogether some seven metres of the cliffs were lost in about seven weeks.

As a result, parts of the café were only around five metres from the cliff edge.

In February 2014 the sun lounge, ice-cream parlour and part of the west wing of the hotel were taken down.

Since then the cliffs have continued to erode at an “unpredictable rate” and parts of the building are now within metres of the cliff, the National Trust said.