NETTING is being installed along the cliffs at Dawlish as part of the ongoing work to protect the vulnerable railway line.

Contractors working on the South West Rail Resilience Programme have begun to put in the temporary grey matting as the first stage of the process to stabilised the cliff face which can now be seen at Lea Mount.

Onlookers have observed that the cliff is currently looking bare.

But contractors explained this is a temporary measure which will be followed by coir matting and then a permanent stainless steel netting to be secured by soil nails.

A spokesman said: ‘Our teams are hard at work on the cliffs between Dawlish and Holcombe as the latest phase of our railway resilience work gets under way in earnest.

‘The work will help to prevent rocks falling from the cliff onto the railway, reducing disruption for passengers for years to come.

‘While the cliffs may look bare to begin with, the vegetation will grow back over time; you can see this happening already at the Parson’s tunnel rockfall shelter.’

In time, greenery will grow and the netting will no longer be visible. There have been comments that the work will obscure the iconic red rocks which are a feature along this stretch of the coast. It is understood that some of the red cliff faces are protected areas so while they will still be nailed for stability, they may not have netting installed.