A PRECARIOUS chunk of cliff on the verge of collapse is a “vivid” demonstration of the changes to our coastline due to climate change, says South Downs National Park Authority.

The authority, which is “responsible for keeping the South Downs a special place”, said people need to be careful and avoid the section of cliff which is just east of Belle Tout, Eastbourne.

The dramatic picture was taken by Martin Jeffery with the caption "ready to go". It shows a huge section of the cliff face that looks ready to sheer off.

The park authority warned people to stay well clear of the area, which is near Birling Gap, due to the unpredictable nature of cliff erosion.


It said: “We would always advise people to stay well away from cliff edges and bases. Given the nature of chalk, cliff falls happen at random as part of natural coastal erosion processes.

“Cliff safety messages continue to be shared through our communications channels, local signage and on-the-ground engagement with the public.”

Trevor Beattie, chief executive of South Downs National Park Authority, said the photograph was a demonstration of climate change.

The Argus:

He said: “Once again we have a vivid demonstration of the rapid changes to our coastline brought about by climate change, rising sea levels and coastal erosion.

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“It is vital to protect personal safety by keeping away from the cliff edge but there is a national message here too about the importance of meeting carbon reduction and climate change targets.”

The government is attending the Conference of the Parties 26 (COP26) which is being held in Glasgow from October 31 until November 12 with the aim of accelerating action towards the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.