10 September 2012
Monmouth Beach, part of the Axmouth to Lyme Regis Undercliffs National Nature Reserve (NNR), has been re-opened following a safety assessment carried out by Natural England.
The cliff-section of Monmouth Beach was originally closed to the west of Lyme Regis in mid-August because of safety concerns following the unprecedented wet weather. Heavy rainfall had exacerbated instability in the cliffs, leading to dangerous rock-falls within the Reserve. This, combined with high spring-tides, led Natural England to take the difficult decision to close the beach for public safety. Following an assessment this week, Reserve staff have taken the decision to re-open the beach.
Tom Sunderland, Senior Reserve Manager for Natural England said, ”I am pleased to say that Monmouth Beach is now open. Closing the beach during the busy summer holiday period was a last resort in response to the summer’s extreme wet weather conditions, which caused a number of dangerous cliff falls along the beach. Following the end of the summer holiday period, we expect lower visitor numbers at Monmouth Beach. We have also been advised that the cliffs, whilst always prone to collapse, are not as unstable as they were when we first closed the beach. Both these factors reduce the risk of an accident occurring, so we consider it appropriate to re-open the beach. People should be aware, however, that the cliffs at the Reserve are always unstable. We advise visitors to remain cautious and to always stay a safe distance from the cliffs. Advisory signs will be kept in place at the base of the cliffs for the time being”.
Notes to editors
For further information, please contact Lyndon Marquis, 0300 060 4236, firstname.lastname@example.org
The site is internationally important for its geology, fossils, geomorphology and a mosaic of habitats including bare ground, grasslands and woodlands. The best time to visit the site is during spring, for flowers and nesting birds.