THIS was the picture released by Birling Gap Coastguard at the weekend.

Now it has emerged that Belle Tout lighthouse could be moved within decades amid cliff erosion fears.

It could be moved further away from a cliff edge within the next few decades after a “worrying” cliff fall took out a public path.

Belle Tout lighthouse has a “few decades” before cliff erosion becomes critical and it has to be moved back, its owner has revealed.

The fall has cut off an access path to the Belle Tout lighthouse, which is now used as holiday accommodation.

Owner David Shaw said: “One of the guests reported a noise like thunder and subsequently there was a big chalk cloud. In the morning we saw what had clearly been a very major chalk fall.

“”I’m trying not to panic. At the lighthouse we’re about 20m (65ft) away [from the cliff edge]. It’s hoped we’ll have 20 or 30 years, maybe 40 if we’re lucky, to go before we need to panic”.