Plea issued over Beachy Head visitor behaviour

A plea has been made by a number of local authorities in a bid to prevent visitors acting irresponsibly on Beachy Head.

Friday, 4th June 2021, 9:56 am

Over the recent Bank Holiday weekend, May 29 to 31, a number of people were seen parking on the verges of roads as well as standing dangerously close to the cliff edge.

In the statement from East Sussex County Council, Eastbourne Borough Council, Lewes District Council, Wealden District Council, South Downs National Park Authority, and the National Trust the public were reminded of the #BeCliffAware campaign.

A spokesperson for the authorities said, “Following the late May Bank Holiday weekend we were very disappointed to see pictures emerge of inconsiderate and unsafe parking, and those of people too close to the base and top of the cliff edge.

Beachy Head Lighthouse. SUS-210519-152039001

“This is despite a long-standing multi-agency campaign, #BeCliffAware, to raise awareness of the dangers of the unstable chalk cliffs and national media coverage of significant rock falls in the area in recent months.

“Anticipating that there would be an influx of visitors at Beachy Head and Birling Gap over the Bank Holiday period, we – East Sussex County, Eastbourne Borough, Lewes District, and Wealden District Councils – each ensured that messaging reminding visitors to stay away from the cliff edge and park considerately were published via our social media channels.”

The issue of visitors standing too close to the edge of Beachy Head was highlighted recently with Birling Gap Coastguard sharing pictures showing how unstable the cliffs can be.

A spokesperson from the authorities said, “Unfortunately, this is an ongoing issue and over the course of each year, particularly over the spring and summer months, we work tirelessly with other partners, including the South Downs National Park, National Trust, Sussex Police, and touring bus companies, to educate our visitors so that they can enjoy our coastal areas safely whilst respecting the environment and other users.

The Beachy Head #BeCliffAware campaign. SUS-210306-141852001

“As well as our media campaign there is clear and ample signage along the coastline and in hotspot areas which warn of the dangers.

“We are grateful to those who have listened to our cliff safety messages, and collectively we will carry on spreading the #BeCliffAware message to continue to save lives.

“We will also continue to ask people to be considerate in their parking when visiting our treasured and fragile coastline.”

In March East Sussex County Council revealed there had been 50 cliff falls in the last year in the county.

To read more about the council’s warning click here.