Dorset

Jurassic Coast fossil hunters warned of rock fall risk

Fossil seekers filmed at Charmouth following the storm Image copyright Martin Curtis
Image caption Fossil seekers filmed at Charmouth following the storm

Fossil hunters on Dorset's Jurassic Coast are being warned of falling rocks and mudslides following recent storms.

The Jurassic Coast Trust said larger numbers of collectors were out in the "ideal conditions" after Storm Brendan.

The trust urged collectors to explore beaches "safely and responsibly" and not take unnecessary risks.

Jurassic Coast guide Martin Curtis said he saw collectors at Charmouth Beach "risk their lives in the race to be the first to the best fossils".

Mr Curtis, who runs fossil hunting tours on beaches along the Jurassic Coast, filmed collectors at the beach following the storms on Wednesday.

He said it was "only time before someone is lost to the sea. No fossil is worth that."

Sam Scriven from the trust said: "It's a bit like a good swell offering the best time to go surfing, that doesn't mean surfers should act irresponsibly."

After a storm fresh fossils are exposed from within the clay along the cliff and shoreline.

The trust urged people to use common sense and caution - and always pay attention to warning signs and messages about how to stay safe.

Mr Scriven said: "It is impossible to predict where or when a major cliff collapse might happen. Heavy rainfall and rough seas increase the risk and can create mudflows and other hazards too."

Last month heavy rainfall caused a series of landslips at Swanage cutting off part of the beach during high tides.

Guidelines for responsible fossil collecting apply anywhere along the Jurassic Coast.

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