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Saturday, March 30, 2013

White Cliffs of Dover Collapsing

White Cliffs collapse: Tons of chalk fall into the Channel near Dover

by shortyma777

They are one of the most iconic symbols of British independence and the inspiration for one of the most famous wartime songs. But walkers have been warned to take care when walking along a stretch of the famous White Cliffs of Dover, after tons of chalk crashed into the English Channel, when part of the cliff-face sheared off. 

A giant mound of clay was left on the shore near St. Margaret’s Bay after the collapse between Dover and Deal in Kent. Dover Coastguard said a bench and fencing which sat on the cliff-top were also sent tumbling to the base, prompting warnings to coastal walkers. Fortunately, no one was hurt. 

The collapse is thought to have been caused by a combination of high winds and rain freezing after being absorbed into the chalk and then expanding, causing the cliff to weaken.

 A similar collapse saw a chunk of the cliff-face slip in March last year. A Dover Coastguard spokesman said: ‘There was a similar fall in 2012 but this one is smaller than that one. A bench and fence have gone down with it. ‘Coastguard rescue officers were tasked to make an assessment of the area and take some pictures which were sent off to the relevant authorities. 

‘The cliff-fall extends about 150 yards from the base of the cliff towards the sea at ground level, and the fall is about 15ft to 20ft high.’ The National Trust, which owns the land, were told of the collapse and have put up signs warning walkers to beware. 

A National Trust spokesman said: ‘This cliff fall is part of a process of natural regeneration that happens on this world famous stretch of the Kent coast, helping to keep this special place, recognized by millions across the world, so distinctive. We’ve installed signs and information to help keep access open to this British icon. 

Throughout the year we closely monitor how the elements affect the chalk cliffs, helping us to manage the coastal footpath.’ 

The Kent landmark, immortalized by Dame Vera Lynn’s wartime song The White Cliffs of Dover, has suffered large falls before, and is thought to recede by around half an inch each year. Experts believe that the cliffs could move up to 200 yards further away from France by the end of the century. Parts of the cliffs are now supported by concrete. EP
shortyma777 | March 30, 2013 at 8:17 pm | Categories: Home | URL:

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