March 12 2014 Latest news:
Monday, February 24, 2014
A section of the South West Coast Path has been closed between Budleigh Salterton and Ladram Bay, after alarming cracks opened up in its surface.
Like the rest of the East Devon coastline, the path along the clifftop – which boasts stunning views of Lyme Bay – has been pounded by massive storms
As pictured here, this has caused fissures to open up in the path, forcing Devon County Council to close it for safety reasons.
Mo Bowman, who took this photograph, said there appeared to be a threat of the cliff top shearing off.
A Devon County Council public rights of way officer said the path would be shut initially until February 28 for the damage to be assessed. If the damage is not found to be serious, it could then be opened again, but if not the closure could be extended for work to be carried out.
In the meantime, an alternative route has been suggested (see map above), which sees northbound walkers turning left at Otterton Sewage Works, then north via Stantyway Road.
Budleigh mayor and district councillor Steve Hall said: “Particularly as it’s the half-term holiday, and people are coming down here to experience the wonderful natural vistas, I am disappointed to hear that particular part of the path has been closed.
“However, I can understand, with the unprecedented weather we have had, that safety is a priority.
“I hope the remedial work takes place as soon as possible and it is open for the full summer holiday season so people can enjoy it.”