How do I know if my property is safe from landslides, landslips and rockfall? - Landslide safety surveys.

Cornwall has over 700 kilometres of beautiful rocky coastline, as well as thousands of historic quarries, and many more exposed rock slopes. How can I be sure my property will be safe from landslides, landslips and rockfall?

Slope Stability Southwest offer a range of bespoke assessments, surveys, and safety inspections to provide peace of mind for homeowners, as well as risk assessment and design input for property developers on rocky or sloping sites. We can also provide assurances for mortgage providers, insurance companies and for the purposes of property sales and conveyance.

slope stability survey in cornwall is conducted by slope stability south west

Walkover Inspections:

The walkover inspections are undertaken by Chartered Engineering Geologists – who can take a good look at your property of site, and look for signs of ongoing, historic, or imminent landslides, landslips or rockfall. We can also assess of other risk factors, such as structural loading of a slope, animal activity (burrowing) or surface or groundwater saturation.

Our geologists are very experienced, having undertaken hundreds of such inspections, and as we generally work in Cornwall and the southwest, so we have developed a deep and comprehensive understanding of the landscape, the geology and the coastline.

Desk Studies:

We will also undertake a comprehensive desk study assessment of the site to understand the site history, to look at the geology and hydrology (surface and groundwater) of the site, and to assess whether there is a history of landslides, landslips or rockfall. Slope Stability Southwest have access to both modern and historic maps, photographs and geological plans.

Computer Analysis:

Where it is required, Slope Stability Southwest can undertake detailed computer analysis of sloping sites and rock slopes using advanced and specialist computer software. If you are involved in a new build or property development, and you are in need of detailed design and assurance, Slope Stability Southwest are here to help!

The Bishops Method of Slices used in slope stability surveys to assess risk of landslide and landslips

What are the causes of landslides, landslips and rockfall?

In coastal environments, the risk of rockfall and landslides can be influenced by a combination of geological, topographical, and environmental factors. Here are some of the key considerations:

  • Geological Conditions: The type of rock and soil in the coastal area plays a significant role in landslide and rockfall risks. Rock types like shale and loose sediments are more prone to landslides, while steep cliffs with unstable rock formations are at higher risk of rockfall.


  • The landscape and landscape topography – how steep is the slope or rock face?


  • Coastal Erosion: Coastal erosion, which is the wearing-away of coastal land due to waves and tides, can weaken the stability of coastal cliffs and slopes. This erosion can increase the likelihood of landslides and rockfalls.


  • Vegetation Cover: The presence of vegetation can help stabilise coastal slopes and reduce the risk of landslides. However, storms and erosion can remove vegetation, increasing vulnerability.


  • Precipitation and Weather: Heavy rainfall and storms can saturate the soil, making it more susceptible to landslides. High winds and strong waves can also trigger rockfall events by dislodging rocks from coastal cliffs.


  • Human Activities: Human activities, such as construction, excavation, or deforestation in coastal areas, can alter the natural landscape and increase the risk of landslides and rockfalls.


Slope Stability Southwest have the expertise and experience to help, we are friendly, knowledgeable and cost effective. Take a look at our services and if you have any questions or concerns, give us a call and speak to an experienced geologist, all phone consultations are free of charge and without obligation.

Take a look at our LinkedIn profile for details for works we have undertaken and srveys and inspections that have been carried out.