Another stretch of Whitburn coastline closed off to visitors following concern of cliff collapse
Another part of Whitburn’s coastal path has been closed off over concerns sea caves beneath could collapse.
Earlier this month, the National Trust put up a cordon around a section of land between Marsden Grotto and Souter Lighthouse, due to concerns the land could crumble.
Now, the organisation, which leases The Leas and runs the lighthouse visitor centre, has closed off access to another part of the coastline.
The path along Whitburn Coastal Park has been shut off to people on foot to keep them from harm.
The decision to tape off a second section, which measures around 20 metres by 20 metres, came following checks carried out by geophysicists from Newcastle University.
Eric Wilton, the National Trust’s general manage for the South of Tyne, which also covers the Durham Heritage Coast, said the team is grateful visitors are taking notice of the cordon and warning signs.
He said: “Since this last occurred, we have monitored the situation very closely with the help of Newcastle University and they have come back and informed us we needed to do this as a precaution for public safety concerns.
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“We have closed off the footpath at Whitburn Coastal Park, south of the lighthouse and towards the Wherry, but people can still get down to the Wherry.
“We will continue to monitor it and this is quite a dynamic coastline where we have roads by the sea, and we have these sea caves beneath the coastal path where the sea has moved the material within, and it’s a normal phenomenon.
“Years and years ago there was a quarry around here and it was infilled and now the sea is forming these caves.
“It’s part of this area’s industrial landscape.”
The National Trust leases the land from South Tyneside Council.
The day-to-day running of Souter Lighthouse is not affected by the closure of the coastal paths.