Birling Gap, East Sussex

View of the cliffs and buildings at Birling Gap, part of the Seven Sisters chalk cliffs range, East Sussex.

The chalk cliffs at Birling Gap are eroding by about a metre each year, but instead of a gradual loss there are years when nothing happens and then, suddenly, several metres of cliff will fall at once.

Seven years’ of erosion took place during the winter storms leaving parts of the visitor centre just 5m from the cliff edge.

After dismantling the perilously positioned sun lounge and ice cream parlour we’re working with coastal change to close original rooms as we need to and open rooms at the back of the building. In the future we want to design simple new structures that can easily be taken down and re-built so we can stay ahead of the eroding cliffs.