The Weld Estate respond to huge influx of visitors to Durdle Door

The Weld Estate respond to huge influx of visitors to Durdle Door

Published by Maria Greenwood at 12:10pm 5th June 2020.

The Weld Estate, Dorset Police and Dorset Council are working closely together to find a solution to limit the number of people visiting Durdle Door this weekend.

Landowner James Weld has told Wessex FM they can't stop people going to the beach at Lulworth but their message to the public is 'stay local.' 

Huge numbers of people, many from out of the area, arrived at Durdle Door last weekend, leaving behind large amounts of litter.

Social distancing had to be abandoned when two air ambulances landed on the beach to respond to several people who had been seriously injured after jumping from the arch.

durdle door closed 1

James Weld told Wessex FM: 

"Our staff have had enough of starting work at 5am to clear the beaches and fortunately we have a number of volunteers who help us.

"But it's back breaking work and completely unnecessary, I just find it incredible that people make a conscious decision to leave it there."

In reaction to whether or not they would be closing the beach, he said people have the right to walk along the coastline and access beaches:

"It's not as easy as closing the beach, there is a right of way for public to access it under the Marine and Coastal Act of 2009.

"We have no power to close it as it's a public right of way, we can't stop people travelling here, the government's restrictions don't require them to stay at home anymore."

durdle door crowds

He explained the reason for opening the car park at Durdle Door was to stop visitors parking their cars outside residents' homes and in their driveways.

"We had visitors arriving in large numbers even when they weren't supposed to be travelling. 

"And in consultation with some of the residents including Councillor Laura Miller, we did open the car park at Lulworth Cove, even though we did plan to keep it closed, because it was just chaos on the roads in the village."

They will be restricting numbers this weekend, but James hopes the people that do visit the beach stay safe.

"Climbing the cliffs is particularly foolish at the best of times, but jumping from Durdle Door in to shallow waters is not very sensible. 

"There have always been signs and we have tried to put fencing up but it gets ripped down. Other than a 12 foot steel barricade, which would be completely inappropriate along the Jurassic Coast, there is very little we can do if people want to do that."