Mammoth safety fence along North Norfolk coast could prevent repeat of Suffolk landslide tragedy

Visitors to the coast are continuing to ignore warnings not to climb on the crumbling cliffs. Pictur

Visitors to the coast are continuing to ignore warnings not to climb on the crumbling cliffs. Picture: Ally McGilvray - Credit: Archant

A mammoth safety fence could be erected along the north Norfolk coast to stop cliff surfers using the eroding slopes as a shortcut to the beach and putting their lives at risk.

Visitors to the coast are continuing to ignore warnings not to climb on the crumbling cliffs. Pictur

Visitors to the coast are continuing to ignore warnings not to climb on the crumbling cliffs. Picture: Ally McGilvray - Credit: Archant

The dramatic proposal was put forward as readers reacted to concerns that visitors are ignoring warning signs following the death of a dog walker, killed in a landslide, in Suffolk earlier this year.

In less than an hour at West Runton on Sunday, around a dozen people – both adults and children - were caught on camera climbing up and down the unstable cliffs.

There has been an increase in interest at the holiday hotspot after a giant bone, believed to belong to a two million year old mammoth, was found in the sand last week.

Commenting on our story online, themardler said: 'Not so dangerous there, so many people have been sliding down it in recent years that the slope is very graded now. It is very very selfish stupid and irresponsible though, contributing to erosion of the cliff face. I cant remember it being as bad in the 40 or more years I have been visiting that beach but older residents may have seen different.

Visitors to the coast are continuing to ignore warnings not to climb on the crumbling cliffs. Pictur

Visitors to the coast are continuing to ignore warnings not to climb on the crumbling cliffs. Picture: Ally McGilvray - Credit: Archant


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'The sort of holidaymaker and visitor seems to have changed, they appear to know nothing and care less. North Norfolk District Council should have been working with the landowner to erect an impenetrable fence and also putting up some form of barrier at the base of the cliffs - some big old sharp rocks should do it.'

Stevo wasn't so sure: 'An impenetrable fence? Would you like one so high people can't climb it or so thick they break through with wire cutters? Will you pay for its maintenance? What about when the sea eventually takes it anyway? Or when the wind, a storm etc. tears it down and sends it flying into property or some poor soul out walking their dog? How about people just take responsibility for their own actions, eh? I think you'd be the first to moan if council tax went up and the first to complain about an eyesore of a fence.'

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Raisedeyebrows did exactly as their name suggests: 'As long as they foot any bill for rescue themselves its fine with me, Its good practice for the emergency services for real emergencies rather than self inflicted. Otherwise don't moan about it if you or your offspring suffer a fatality.'

Or as my mother used to put it, if you fall and break both your legs, don't come running to me.

Visitors to the coast are continuing to ignore warnings not to climb on the crumbling cliffs. Pictur

Visitors to the coast are continuing to ignore warnings not to climb on the crumbling cliffs. Picture: Ally McGilvray - Credit: Archant

man by the sea is well placed to comment. He said: 'What most of the people doing this don't seem to acknowledge is that it is the long term damage to the cliffs or in our village the sand dunes which is the real concern. The EA (Environment Agency) in their great wisdom filled in all the access points to the local beach and then put new fence work at the places - because they said they couldn't accept the erosion around the old fences.

'Surprise, surprise, there is now more around the new posts and, as the new fences are actually more stable, despite the warning notices, we get more people climbing over them and strolling along the tops, causing long term erosion of the dunes.'

Neville J had more pressing concerns: 'I watched two children walking to school with their mother along Mile X Road last week both eating huge slabs of chocolate so big they could hardly hold them. These are the people who are taking risks, not people getting some exercise playing on some, what are relatively safe cliffs.'

Dora replied: 'You wouldn't say that if you had witnessed two children being buried alive under crumbling sand as I did when I was a child. The warning signs are there for a reason and the more people who ignore them, as you suggest, then the more the cliffs and sand will deteriorate.'

Amateur archaeologists Dan Chamberlain and Russell Yeomans discovered what is believed to be a mammo

Amateur archaeologists Dan Chamberlain and Russell Yeomans discovered what is believed to be a mammoth tibia on the beach at West Runton. Picture: Ally McGilvray - Credit: Archant

Okay, looking to end with the voice of reason. Rik (not the chap from The Walking Dead I assume), take it away...

'There is a matter of personal responsibility - anyone who goes on there - or anywhere for that matter, like crossing a road - should assess the risk and decide whether it is 'safe'. Does every one of us need a certificated Road Crossing Operative (I think he means lollipop lady) every time we venture from one side of a highway to the other?

'There used to be a 'thing' called commonsense. Let them get on with it, if that is their choice. Old saying: Am I my brother's cotton wool?'

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