'Road to nowhere' after erosion streak at Winterton

Erosion at Winterton October 2021

Beach Road is now a road to nowhere that ends in a sheer drop. - Credit: Liz Coates

People are being warned to take extra care on a beach amid landslip fears.

High tides and strong winds saw surging seas cause further erosion at Winterton, less than a year after the clifftop Dunes cafe was demolished before it collapsed on to the sands.

Such was the scale of the latest loss - creating 25ft sheer drops in places - James Bensly whose county council ward includes the village called the police and council to make the area safe and provide warning signs.

Erosion at Winterton October 2021

Pipes jut out of the cliffs at Winterton after being exposed by erosion. - Credit: Liz Coates

He said the amount of material that had been lost was "unreal" and raised concerns about landslips from the unstable dunes.

Tank traps that just a few years ago stood at the foot of the dunes are now a good 50ft away, the Coastwatch lookout edging ever closer.

Erosion at Winterton October 2021

Tank traps that were at the foot of the dunes just a few years ago are an island of rocks today, October 2021. - Credit: Liz Coates

There is now no turning circle at the end of the road, double yellow lines running to the edge of the cliff and falling away to nothing.

Debris on the beach attests to the amount of material lost, while further along exposed pipes jut out from the cliff face.

Mr Bensly said he was shocked by the erosion streak and was concerned about further falls from the unstable cliffs.

Erosion at Winterton October 2021

Debris on the beach at Winterton. People are being warned about the possibility of landslips. - Credit: Liz Coates

He hailed the swift actions of police and highways in making the area safe and providing signage.

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"We had days and days of southerly winds which were pushing all the water north," he said.

Erosion at Winterton

A sign warning people about the dangers of coastal erosion has tumbled down the sandy cliffs at Winterton. - Credit: James Bensly

"Then it turned and came from the north west and the water didn't really go down at low tide. It took quite a bit of cliff away and there's a real sharp drop.

"We had to make a barrier because people could have quite easily driven off the edge and it is not safe to turn round anymore.

"It is the road to nowhere now."

Erosion at Winterton 2021

Debris sliding down the dunes at Winterton which has suffered further, severe erosion. - Credit: Liz Coates

He stressed the car park and Airstream Edge were still open. Up to 15 spaces for vehicles had been lost and people were being allowed to turn round in the car park.

In the short term the plan was to install chestnut paling fences to create safe passageways to the beach, he said.

Erosion at Winterton October 2021

Hard standing has broken off and fallen on to the sands below at Winterton. - Credit: Liz Coates

Overall the aim was to discourage any unnecessary journeys along Beach Road which now ends in a sheer drop.

Erosion at Winterton October 2021

Picnic tables and police tape at Winterton where the coastline is rapidly changing as the Ness moves northwards. - Credit: Liz Coates

Erosion at Winterton October 2021

Police tape and Airstreams on the cliff top at Winterton which has experienced more erosion. - Credit: Liz Coates