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One Coast For All

May 11, 2012

Five stretches closer to ‘One Coast For All’

Ramblers celebrate news of Coast path progress • Survey reveals mass public support for the English Coastal Path

In the wake of celebrations to launch the Wales Coast Path, the Ramblers is celebrating another major success as it welcomes plans to open up a further 190 miles of the English Coast. Natural England has today (10 May) published the next five stretches of coastline which will become part of this new National Trail. In addition to this, Defra has also outlined a long term plan for coastal access which estimates that by 2017 you’ll be able to walk all the way from Hull to Dorset – via Hadrian’s wall and the Wales Coast Path.

The Ramblers ‘One Coast For All’ campaign has urged the Government to keep its promise of creating an English coastal path and today’s news brings the vision of being able to walk around the whole of the country one step closer. The new stretches of coastal access will be delivered in Cumbria (Whitehaven to Silecroft); Dorset (Portland, Rufus Cove to Lyme Regis); Kent (Folkestone to Camber); Norfolk (Sea Palling to Hopton on Sea) and Hartlepool (Hartlepool to Speeton), with preparations set to begin this year.

The results of a YouGov Survey commissioned by the Ramblers reveal that almost seven out of 10 British people (69%) believe the public should have legal access to walk along beaches and along the entire coast of England subject to people acting responsibly in areas that protect wildlife and property – which indicates the importance of our coastline to people’s enjoyment of the countryside.

This is a right won by the public as part of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009, which promised a continuous walking trail around the coast of England after many years of campaigning led by the Ramblers. Nicky Philpott, Director of Policy and Campaigns for the Ramblers said, “It is fantastic news that the government is pressing on with its work to create a continuous coastal path. The Ramblers have been campaigning hard to secure this level of commitment.

This is a major leap forward for us and for all walkers. As citizens of an island nation, the British public is passionate about their coast and are drawn to it. Just this past weekend thousands of people gathered along the Welsh coastline to celebrate the launch of the Wales Coast Path. It is clear people want and deserve better access to their natural heritage and so the announcement of these next stretches is a triumph for access to our coast.” Nicky Philpott continues, “As a nation we were promised access to our entire coastline.

The Ramblers will continue to campaign hard to hold the government to that promise. We look forward to continued work on the coast path so England can share Wales’ pride in a completed coast path and enjoy the huge benefits it will bring.” The English Coast Path will not just be a win for walkers, but also for struggling coastal towns. The South West Coast Path is estimated to generate £307 million a year for the local economy. In South West Wales the 40 year old Pembrokeshire Coast National Trail generates around £68m a year and has been shown to create £52 for every £1 spent on maintenance, and soon Wales will be experiencing the benefits of its coastal path.

A Coastal path around England’s coast has the potential to improve public health and well-being by increasing opportunities for walking and encouraging more visits to the coast. It also has enormous potential to bring significant economic benefits for small businesses and to boost economic growth and create jobs in coastal areas. Work on the trail has begun in 6 different areas and preparations are being made so that the first stretch, near Weymouth in Dorset, can be opened in time for the 2012 Olympics.

To sign the Ramblers petition to show your support for coastal walking and to find out more about the One Coast For All campaign visit http://www.Ramblers.org.uk/OneCoastForAll Information on the new stretches has been published as a Q&A document on the Natural England website: http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/ourwork/access/coastalaccess/default.aspx

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Arthur Metcalfe 3 The Meads South Crescent Ripon North Yorkshire hg4 -1 sm--long distance walker permalink
    March 8, 2016 2:18 pm

    dear sir Could tell me if? and when there will be some information informing walkers’ of a Scottish Coastpath?,to link up with England and Wales

    • March 8, 2016 3:24 pm

      Hello, as far as I’m aware there aren’t any current plans to promote an entire coast path on the new English model in Scotland, though I believe there are some local initiatives in some areas of Scotland – possibly because the Scottish land reform act already gives similar access. Might be worth emailing the Scottish Ramblers Association for updates. If any blog readers know more than me please post a comment, regards John B.

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