South coast landslides a 'serious issue'

Landslip at St Oswald's Bay. People have been urged not to walk directly beneath cliffs

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The number of landslides across the south coast has increased in the last four months, according to the British Geological Survey (BGS).

Research carried out by BGS has shown 16 cliff falls between Bridport and Chichester from January and April, compared with 22 for all of last year.

Geologist Peter Hobbs said: "It's a serious issue, people should take notice of the signs and warnings."

It comes a week after a major landslip near Durdle Door in Dorset.

Eroding coastline

A large crack which first appeared 15 years ago developed further over the weekend at the top of the cliffs at Barton-on-Sea, Hampshire.

In March a 150ft (45m) long, 6ft (1.8m) deep crack appeared on cliffs near Bowleaze Cove, Weymouth.

Mr Hobbs said heavy rainfall seemed to be the "driving force".

He said: "We've noticed that the smaller, shallower landslides tend to respond almost immediately to rainfall.

"The larger and deeper landslides tend to have a few weeks or even months delay from the rainfall."

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