AN £8m project monitoring cliff falls at key points along the Jurassic Coast will be launched in Dorset.

5G RuralDorset has announced it will develop a coastal landslip monitoring system which will use 5G connected sensors to monitor ground movement, temperature and rainfall so coastal landslips can be better understood.

Project leaders hope that the research can prove that by using 5G sensors, the process of data collection can be made safer, more cost effective, responsive and efficient, as well as contribute to coastal resilience in the face of climate change and rising sea levels.

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The system will be trialled at Lyme Regis and Burton Bradstock, which are both sites with active landslides posing public safety risks for the local community and visitors. The current management and monitoring systems at Lyme Regis represent a significant cost to Dorset Council and councillors are hoping the new system will provide 'significant savings' moving forward.

Swanage and Wareham Voice: Cliff fall between Seatown and Eype Beach last month Picture: James Loveridge PhotographyCliff fall between Seatown and Eype Beach last month Picture: James Loveridge Photography

Dorset Council deputy leader Peter Wharf said: "Cliff failures present a very dangerous problem not only in Dorset but other coastal regions which see huge numbers of visitors every year. This research, along with the coastal public safety trials, is critical to people’s safety and the long-term prosperity of the area.

"Current monitoring methodologies are also very costly for the council and this new technology will hopefully provide significant savings in future."

5G RuralDorset and Dorset Council are working with Vodafone, Neutral Networks, Bournemouth University and the British Geological Survey to complete the project, which has been backed by the government's Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport.

Engineering geologist and landslide specialist Catherine Pennington, of the British Geological Survey, said: "Due to climate change, our sea levels are rising which means we will see an increase in erosion and landslide activity at the coast.

"Understanding these processes is important in building resilience for the future so we can adapt to these changes. This project is an opportunity to combine expertise to explore a different, cost-effective and efficient way of collecting landslide data

"We hope the resulting system will help us understand the processes that drive coastal landslides as they happen in real-time."

Swanage and Wareham Voice: Cliff fall between Seatown and Eype Beach last month Picture: James Loveridge PhotographyCliff fall between Seatown and Eype Beach last month Picture: James Loveridge Photography

Digital infrastructure minister Matt Warman added: "5G is about more than just having a faster mobile phone and this project in Dorset is one of the innovative trials the government is funding to find new ways it can improve people’s lives.

"I look forward to seeing how it can boost public safety in our coastal communities and position the UK as a true world leader in 5G."