Coastal access just got even better

Coastal access

Fresh on the heels of the launch of the Wales Coast Path, Natural England has announced plans to open a further 190 miles of path along the English coast.

The plans are the latest stage in the government’s promise to create a new National Trail around England’s coastline following the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009, with the English Coastal Path set to benefit walkers and coastal economies alike.

Work is already underway on six stretches of coastline in Dorset, County Durham, Norfolk, Kent, Cumbria and Somerset, with the first section of path due to open at Weymouth Bay in time for the London 2012 Olympics.

The five new stretches will extend those already being implemented in Dorset, County Durham, Norfolk, Kent and Cumbria in an effort to gradually join up the path “hubs” until it is possible to walk the whole of England’s coastline.

The new stretches of coastal path will run from Whitehaven to Silecroft in Cumbria, from Rufus Cove on Portland to Lyme Regis in Dorset, from Folkestone to Camber in Kent, from Sea Palling to Hopton on Sea in Norfolk and from Hartlepool in County Durham to Speeton in North Yorkshire.

With work scheduled to begin in 2012/13, the new sections should be walkable from 2016. DEFRA has also outlined plans which should make it possible to walk from Hull to Dorset – via Hadrian’s Wall and the Wales Coast Path – by 2017.

“As citizens of an island nation, the British public is passionate about their coast” says Nicky Philpott, Director of Policy and Campaigns at the Ramblers. “It is fantastic news that the government is pressing on with its work to create a continuous coastal path.”

“We were promised access to our entire coastline” adds Nicky. “The announcement of these next stretches is a triumph for access to our coast and we will continue to campaign hard to hold the government to their promise.”

Our One Coast For All campaign for the English Coastal Path has already gathered support from thousands of walkers. Find out more about the campaign and how you can show your support for coastal walking.