'Silly' behaviour and fresh cliff falls spark safety warning at Winterton
PUBLISHED: 15:07 17 January 2019 | UPDATED: 15:27 17 January 2019
Visitors wanting to see for themselves the impact of winter storms on the vulnerable coastline are being warned against "silly" behaviour.
Eric Lund, chairman of Winterton Parish Council, said he had witnessed scenes of “absolute stupidity” as families went right to the limits of the worst affected area at the car park, a dog scampering about on a lead and almost falling over the edge.
His comments came after the area took the brunt of a tidal surge, lashed by huge waves and 50mph winds, with more material falling away this week.
And with the prospect of more seal-spotters heading there this weekend Mr Lund said everyone needed to be mindful of their surroundings.
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He said: “The car park lost quite a lump, and behind the cafe it took even more.
“Apparently the levels on the beach have come back a bit and some of the blocks are covered but some more of the car park has gone, closer to the cafe.
“Decisions are being made about what to do with the cafe.
“There is a patio bit at the back and if that starts to go that will be the time the cafe is demolished.
“It is in the lap of the Gods.”
MORE: ‘Heartbreaking’ scenes at Winterton as village is among hardest hit by storm
He said the car park was being assessed for safety on a daily basis and was currently being manned by Coastwatch volunteers.
“People do not use common sense,” he said. “It is well roped off but people still do silly things.
“A family went right to the edge, almost leaning on the rope with a dog almost falling over the edge.
“In ten years time there could be no cafe, no car park and no Coastwatch and the sea is in the valley.
“After what has happened in the last week it is possible.”
With the seals still a big draw people were going far too close and risking a bite, he added.
One warden had recently been chased by a bull after crossing its path on the dunes.
Although he was able to get away it would have been a different story had the encounter happened on soft sand, he added.
People are also being told to only use official access points or risk causing further collapses and giving the sea a way in.
Jan Bowles, cafe and car park owner, pleaded with people to keep away from the roped off areas for their own safety and also to respect what they were trying to do to protect their land.