An announcement came from Natural England late last week that the England Coast Path running between Brean Down and Minehead has got the go ahead from Government. Walkers in Somerset will soon be able to enjoy this stretch as work begins to make the path a reality.
The 90km stretch will allow people to enjoy a continuous walking route along the coast from Brean Down to Minehead, taking in the River Parrett up to Bridgwater. It will form part of the England Coast Path – an exciting project to open up the English coast and create a 3,000 mile path around its shore.
Our volunteers were involved in the implementation process with Natural England, producing a report which recommended the best route for walkers. The new continuous walking route will include foreshore, beaches, and cliffs and areas where everyone can rest, relax and admire the view.
For years we campaigned for the right to be able to breathe in the sea air while freely following the country’s beautiful and dramatic coastline. The right for this path to exist was enshrined in law in 2009 and the Government reaffirmed its promise to create the England Coast Path last summer (2013) after our award-winning campaign One Coast For All successfully saved the path from being cut.
Emily Shaw, policy support officer said: “We’re really pleased to see progress is being made in Somerset and that we’re just one step closer to opening up this beautiful stretch of the county’s coastline for everyone to enjoy.
“The path will bring huge recreational, social and economic benefits to Somerset, as well as providing walkers with a beautiful coastal route offering uninterrupted spectacular sea views along the way.
“Although people in Somerset are already able to enjoy some of the coastline, the new path will include lots of areas where people can take a break and enjoy the views. Importantly for walkers, if the cliff paths erode, a replacement route will be put in place, maintaining the England Coast Path for future generations to enjoy.”
The new stretch from Brean Down to Minehead is expected to open in late 2014/early 2015 for everyone to enjoy. This follows the recent approval for a stretch of the Norfolk coast and the official opening of the first stretches of the England Coast Path in Cumbria and Durham at Easter.