Cliff Stabilisation Works, Canford Cliffs


Phase 2 of works to address the landslip at Canford Cliffs in February 2017 


BCP Council


March 2019


25th March 2019

The 2017 landslip at Canford Cliffs

The 2017 landslip at Canford Cliffs

Following completion of the 2017-2019 cliff face monitoring project the Council agreed a 12-month programme of stabilisation works at a cost of approximately £3.1 million.

Borehole drilling, April 2019

As part of the ongoing cliff stabilisation works, drilling equipment will be in place on the promenade and beach hut terraces around block numbers 1–11 (please see the satellite map below for details). 

This further ground investigation is required to provide the necessary information to complete the designs for cliff stabilisation, the new beach hut foundations and the retaining wall located behind the beach huts.

Work is expected to last for five days, and will take place between 8am – 6pm. The machinery used will generate some local noise but it will be within guidelines for normal site working. Access to the promenade will be maintained, although beach hut access could be restricted during these times. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.  

Project Background

In February 2017, at Canford Cliffs, a section of cliff approximately 10m wide x 0.5m deep eroded and slipped, resulting in the closure of two blocks of beach huts directly below it, temporary closure of a short stretch of Cliff Drive which was undermined by the slip. The slip was large enough to warrant further investigation, a period of cliff face monitoring. and the postponement of a planned investment in new beach huts and seafront infrastructure.

Protecting Wildlife

The area of cliff affected by the landslip is part of the Poole Cliffs SNCI (Site of Nature Conservation Interest) which is managed by the Council for it’s nature conservation interest. It provides an ideal habitat for the nationally rare Sand Lizard and Dartford Warbler which are both protected species, and other birds that might be nesting in the gorse bushes.

During the period of cliff stability monitoring it was necessary to clear cliff vegetation to enable structural engineers to assess the condition of the cliff face. At the same time reptiles were encouraged to gradually move away from the ‘exclusion zone’ to pre-prepared reptile-friendly habitats beyond it. Surveys were carried out until winter hibernation to ensure the zone was clear of reptiles in anticipation of cliff stabilisation works.

The Council’s biodiversity officer has been working, and continues to work throughout this project to protect both habitats and wildlife.

Historical cliff slips at Canford Cliffs

Over the past 40 years there have been three significant cliff slips at Canford Cliffs Chine. The first two happened during the 1970s and one of these resulted in a block of beach huts being demolished (these were only reinstated in 2014). The third significant slip took place in 1993.

Each of the slips at Canford Cliffs required stabilisation schemes including a system of transverse steel beams positioned down the cliff face and a series of soil nails to pin and hold a top section of the cliff.