East Devon's cliffs are a key part of the scenery that attracts visitors to the area, however the cliffs pose a very real danger and caution must be exercised when visiting them. Rockfalls and landslides are unpredictable events, occurring without warning, and can cause serious injury or death.
Warning signs can be found in areas managed by us. The absence of a sign does not indicate there is no risk and you should always take care around the cliffs of East Devon as all are made of soft rock and pose a cliff fall danger.
Good practice when on the beach is to stay well clear of the cliff base and keep an eye out for fresh fall material or water running down the cliffs which may indicate an area that is weakened and loose. If in doubt, don’t walk under or near the cliffs. The Coastguard advises that beach users stay at least the height of the cliff away e.g. if a cliff is 20 metres high, a distance of 20 metres should be kept.
If a cliff fall does occur and you suspect that someone has been injured, call 999 immediately. Do not explore recent cliff falls as there is a risk of further falls. A comprehensive guide to staying safe around beaches and cliffs is available from the Coastguard.
We complete annual cliff inspections at Beer, Budleigh Salterton, Seaton and Sidmouth. These inspections include removing loose material and additional safety works such as installation of rock netting. If you notice a recent cliff fall or any issues with our stabilisation interventions at any of the above locations, please get in touch with our Customer Service Centre.
While this aims to reduce the risk of incidents, we cannot guarantee incidents will not occur at these locations. We therefore recommend that where possible, you enjoy the cliffs from a distance and do not climb or sit directly beneath them.