Boffins say storms are tearing up the granite of the Western Isles

Giant waves created by Atlantic storms are hurling boulders as much as 50 metres back from the cliff edge, scientists are discovering.

Glasgow University’s Dr James Hansom investigated hundreds of boulders piled up inland from 20 m high cliffs in the Shetland and Orkney Islands, Lewis and Harris in the Hebrides and the Aran islands in Galway.

He found that 100 giant waves of up to 24 metres are hitting Britain every year and breaking up cliff edges and hurling rocks as heavy as 50 tonnes 50 metres inland. Hansom said: ‘It is occuring regularly and at an ever-increasing rate.’