Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Rockfalls show dangers as Hunstanton cliffs erode

The hop across the rocks isn't quite the same, but I don't realise why until another angler points it out to me.

"Fresh rockfall," he says, pointing to the tonnes and tonnes of chalk and carr stone which have come down from the cliffs at some point over the last couple of days. "Look, you can see all the dust still. I wondered when that lot was going to go."

There are large cracks up in some of the rocky overhangs. The cliffs are gradually eroding inland, as the elements eat away at rock strata which took millions of years to lay down. The edge of the cliffs has moved around two metres in the last decade, by my reckoning.

Hawkeye reckons he's heard the cliffs creaking and cracking as he's walked along the beach, while I have pictures showing the cliff edge being 20 yards from the wall around the light house - it's less than half that now and another good fall or two will probably see the path on the seaward side lost, as the council move the safety fence back.

People hunt fossils as well as bass at cliff base - like these fossilised ferns I found the other day. Some holidaymakers clamber up the rubble, others sit and picnic underneath - despite the warning signs.

The latest rockfall graphically shows the danger, with lumps of carr stone landing around the high water mark after bouncing their way down the slope.

There were grockles sitting there the other night, I tell the guy who pointed out the avalanche. "They might be under that lot now," he shrugged.

Rock slides apart, the last few tides have been dead.

Sunday night - sea choppy and coloured, large regatta in progress a few hundred yards offshore. Fished next to one of the more consistent local lure anglers. "You will catch 'em when it's like this," he said. We didn't.

Monday morning - high tide at dawn. No sign of any fish, but terns diving about 150yds off the beach.

Monday afternoon - went to try a little stream where I've seen some perch and Hawkeye swears he saw a pike. Few silver fish and - amazingly - bream about in a deeper run beneath an old bridge, but water very clear and no sign of perch.

Monday night - back on the bass. Sea coloured within 50 yards of beach, terns diving move out into a gathering squall, surf building in the gale, got soaked to the skin within half an hour and cleared off.

We have two runs of decent tides left between now and September, so improving on my bass total's going to require a concentrated effort - and one eye over my shoulder looking out for rockfalls waiting to happen.

***It's hard to guage scale without anyone in the pictures. The two flat rocks, sitting on top of each other, are around the size of a small hatchback. Which you obviously wouldn't like landing on your toe...


  1. Hi so you are now starting to think about Mr pike, you know it make sense,been catching a few nice perch just under 3LB mark, roll on the winter, this year i have brought a Lynn ticket, see you around.

  2. We'll have to have a day out and a catch-up soon Chef. Hope all's well with you.

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