Not all of it, no. The extent and quality of public access to the coast in England is patchy. Good quality access exists in some areas, but in others is confined to narrow cliff tops, or paths and roads which take visitors far inland, away from the sea. Many areas are simply off limits.
It already has! 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. Defra have created a long term plan for the path until 2017, where you will be able to walk from Hull to Dorset (via the Hadrians Wall Path and Wales). The bad news is that the government has so far refused to say when the coastal route will be complete and open for the public to enjoy.
In 2009, after many years of campaigning led by the Ramblers, the public won the right to walk along the entire coast of England. The Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 calls on the government to create a continuous walking trail around the entire coast of England, with wider access to beaches and open land as appropriate along the route.
All of us! As citizens of an island nation, the British public is passionate about our coast – we’re drawn to it. The English coastline is an integral part of our natural heritage. Visits to the coast to enjoy nature, exercise, relax and take in the open views are extremely popular. An England Coast Path would bring health, economic and well-being benefits.
The England Coast Path will actually bring huge economic benefits.
The South West Coast Path (on which the English Coastal Path will be based) is estimated to generate £307 million a year for the local economy.
The England Coast Path would give a much needed boost to our coastal communities - some of which are among the most economically deprived in England.
The Ramblers believe that people want and deserve better access to their natural heritage, and they should not have to wait another generation for it. The government has a unique opportunity to give something of genuine, lasting value to the nation and to show it is truly committed to being the 'greenest Government ever'.
Walkers in Scotland won a right to enjoy the coast in 2003 thanks to the Land Reform Act, which made Scotland one of the most walking friendly countries in Europe.
Wales became the first country in the world with a complete path around it’s coastline when the Wales Coast Path opened in May 2012. Ramblers Cymru celebrated the opening of the path with the Big Welsh Coastal Walk