Safety plea after child pictured at base of crumbling cliff

The eroding cliffs at Pakefield. Picture: Mick Howes

The eroding cliffs at Pakefield. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Archant

People are being urged to take care on the coast after a child was spotted playing near eroding cliffs.

Last month a 'stay safe on the coast' campaign was launched, as Coastal Partnership East and HM Coastguard issued warnings to people to stay away from eroding cliffs and to not climb on sea defences.

Now, residents and visitors to the East Suffolk coast are being reminded to stay safe after a youngster was seen playing at the base of cliffs in Pakefield, Lowestoft.

Warning signs urge people to stay safe on the coast and near the eroding cliffs at Pakefield. Pictur

Pakefield cliffs - Credit: Mick Howes

East Suffolk Council, through Coastal Partnership East which manages the coast on its behalf, was sent a photograph by a concerned member of the public showing a man and child at the foot of the cliffs at Pakefield.

The council warned these cliffs, along with the rest of the Suffolk coast, were some of the fastest eroding in western Europe and climbing on them or walking close to them could be extremely dangerous.

The campaign was launched following similar warnings from coastguards and East Suffolk Council earlier this year that urged people to avoid walking near the cliffs at Pakefield and to take extra care when walking near stretches of eroding cliffs.

David Ritchie, East Suffolk’s cabinet member for planning and coastal management, said: “Over the past few months, Coastal Partnership East has received almost daily reports from concerned landowners, businesses and the community about people climbing on eroding cliffs, climbing on top of sea defences and ignoring signs warning of potential dangers.

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“This is quite alarming; people are putting their lives, and the lives of their friends and families, in danger.

"Tragically, there has already been one fatality on the Suffolk coast in 2018 and we are extremely anxious for the community, both locally and visitors to our coast, to take care and help prevent another tragedy.

"We are urging people to stay away from the base and the tops of cliffs, even if they look stable.”

If you notice anything unusual or dangerous about cliffs or any coastal defences, please email

In an emergency, always call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

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