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Drone survey carried out near clifftop school after landslide

PUBLISHED: 10:28 19 June 2019 | UPDATED: 10:47 19 June 2019

The debris left in the aftermath of a cliff collapse in Sidestrand. The buildings at the top of the cliff are part of Sidestrand hall Schoo. Pic: Chris Taylor (aerovisuals.co.uk)

The debris left in the aftermath of a cliff collapse in Sidestrand. The buildings at the top of the cliff are part of Sidestrand hall Schoo. Pic: Chris Taylor (aerovisuals.co.uk)

Archant

A north Norfolk school perched close to the site of a recent landfall has had a survey carried out by drone to assess how stable their land is.

Volunteer coastguard rescue officer Christon Iliffe, at Sidestrand beach near to where there was a cliff collapse. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYVolunteer coastguard rescue officer Christon Iliffe, at Sidestrand beach near to where there was a cliff collapse. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Sidestrand Hall School, which caters for children with special needs, occupies 15 acres of land next to spectacular cliffs that rise more than 60 metres above sea level.

On Wednesday, June 12, tonnes of earth were sent crashing onto the beach after days of rain.

The cliff fall was caught on video by Brad Damms, from Holt, who is working on a mapping survey for London-based ScanLAB Projects, and drone footage later revealed just how close the incident was to the school grounds.

Sarah Young, the school's headteacher, said: "We had a drone survey done yesterday [Tuesday] to look at the formation of the sand and rocks.

The cliff collapse at Sidestrand beach where the fresh earth pile can be seen near to the end of the green cliff. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe cliff collapse at Sidestrand beach where the fresh earth pile can be seen near to the end of the green cliff. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

"That will at least be able to give an assessment of its safety, but we are not unduly worried about it."

Mrs Young said the cliff fall was only the second in the area she was aware of in her past 17 years at the school.

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She also said: "A review by a coastal engineer has identified that there are no buildings or people at risk currently."

The debris left in the aftermath of a cliff collapse in Sidestrand. Aerial footage taken by Chris Taylor showed people walking on the debris. Pic: Chris Taylor (aerovisuals.co.uk)The debris left in the aftermath of a cliff collapse in Sidestrand. Aerial footage taken by Chris Taylor showed people walking on the debris. Pic: Chris Taylor (aerovisuals.co.uk)

Pete Revell, from the Coastguard's Bacton team, urged walkers to give the area a wide berth, and to be especially careful when walking along the coast.

He said the cliff fall meant it was now impossible to walk along the beach between Trimingham and Sidestrand at high tide.

Mr Revell said: "We've got cliffs from Weybourne right around to Happisburgh, which is always unstable anyway.

"Walkers should be very mindful of the dangers, and stay away from the top of the cliffs, and the base of the cliffs as well."

North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) is also warning of the dangers and has put up signs in the area urging people to steer clear.

A spokesman said: "NNDC strongly advises people to remain clear of cliff edges at all times due to their instability which can be compounded following heavy rainfall."

On Saturday, the Coastguard was again called in after a family ignored the warning signs to picnic at the site of the cliff fall.

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