Posted 14 April 2016 by Andrew Gardner
Seaford Head has been in the news lately - did you see the pictures of that massive crack in the cliff? Crikey. There's more than one, and Newhaven Coastguard has been urgently warning us all to stay well away, as the edges (quite a large chunk of them) could give way at any time. It's happened due to a mixture of frost after all the rain, apparently, but I think those who know their coastline are already aware that chalk is a crumbly substance and all cliffs should be treated with respect. So if you see the area's roped off, that's why.
While it's always sensible to stay away from the edge, which of us hasn't been tempted to sit right on the brink for a few minutes? But please don't, because you can't see the cracks from above - though you can from below, where it's equally dangerous. There's still plenty of space to enjoy the cliffs from further back, though. The walk along Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters is a delightfully wide, undulating (aka gasp-inducing) grassy tract with plenty of space and no need to go anywhere near the edge.
But the thing is, apparently the first warning pictures Newhaven Coastguard posted of the cracked cliffs had been sent to them by a walker who spotted them... by the name of Mrs Death. My sincere apologies to anyone called Death who might be reading this, and I admit to reading too much Terry Pratchett, but somehow the irony is all too much for my brain at this moment.
So my nomination for the next lot of Darwin Awards, if they still exist, is the camper who chose to pitch his tent right on the edge in December and had to be rescued when strong gales nearly put paid to his plans. Surely a nice cosy holiday cottage would have been far warmer and considerably safer for a short break in Sussex (click here to view our selection)? He could've come to us... perhaps next time he will.