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DOVER CLIFF FALL WIDENS LE GAP.

GOOD news for Euro haters - Britain is now further from the continent than ever before.

A 50-foot-long section of the white cliffs of Dover - our closest spot to mainland Europe - has crashed into the Channel.

In the spectacular rockfall 90,000 tons of boulders tumbled down from the cliffs at St Margaret's near Dover, forming a new island around 200 yards out to sea.

National Trust spokesman Steve Judd, 32, said such large-scale cliff collapses were "extremely rare". He said: "On average they happen only every 10 years.

"They normally happen at night and mostly in winter months when expanding ice cracks the rock.

"Next week we will be conducting an aerial survey of the white cliffs to see if any other sections are likely to collapse.

"We may have to put up further safety fences. There are many cliff-top footpaths in the area and the magnificent location is extremely popular with tourists. People should always be aware of the dangers of cliff and rock falls.

"But the area near this latest example was fenced off and at least 20 metres away from the nearest footpath."

Britain was part of mainland Europe more than 26,000 years ago, but broke away after the Ice Age.

And ever since then the gap between Britain and France has got wider and wider.

Experts estimate the gulf is growing by one centimetre every year.
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Author:Larcombe, Duncan
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 6, 2000
Words:231
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