Natural England’s Chair Tony Juniper cutting the red ribbon to open the path, 18 September.
We joined Natural England today (18 September) for the opening of the latest stretch of the England Coast Path, increasing access to the magnificent Tees Valley coastline with a new 10-mile route from Newport Bridge to North Gare.
Connecting the towns of Billingham, Middlesbrough and Hartlepool, the route will pass key tourist attractions such as the Transporter Bridge, the RSPB Saltholme Nature Reserve and the Teesmouth National Nature Reserve, helping people to explore the natural and diverse wildlife which have made the area their home.
Walkers will be able to enjoy seal viewing areas around Greatham Creek and open wetlands at RSBP Saltholme, where a range of bird species such as the lapwing and yellow wagtail thrive.
The opening means there is now a 156-mile continuous portion of the England Coast Path in place, running from Filey in North Yorkshire to Amble in Northumberland, making it the 6th longest National Trail in England.
Our Director of Advocacy and Engagement, Tompion Platt, said:
“It’s really exciting to be opening another stretch of the England Coast Path, joining up with coastal paths in Yorkshire and Northumberland and bringing us one step closer to being able to walk the entire way around the English coastline.
“We are incredibly proud to be working with Natural England on this latest and most ambitions National Trail, of the role the Ramblers played in campaigning for it, and of our dedicated volunteers, working tirelessly to walk, survey and map the route.”
Natural England’s Chair Tony Juniper, who attended the event at the RSPB Saltholme reserve, said:
“I am delighted to be here today to witness the opening of this new stretch in the Tees Valley, a region which is renowned for its rich landscape, heritage and culture.
“This stretch will give walkers access to 10 miles of beautiful coastline, enabling people to visit some of the most stunning natural conservation sites along the estuary.”
Ramblers is working with Natural England to establish a 2,700-mile path around the entire English coastline, with today’s stretch the twelfth to open. When completed, it will be the longest continuous coastal walking route in the world. It will also become a National Trail – the nation’s finest and most popular long-distance paths.
The route will incorporate parts of the estuary that were previously inaccessible to the public or very difficult to reach. Well over half of the stretch is brand new access, with the trail involving new construction of causeway, boardwalks and footbridges.
Opening this latest stretch of the England Coast Path in the 70th anniversary year of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act - legislation that the Ramblers fought for at the time, which led led to the creation of National Trails - is a timely reminder of the importance of our continued campaigns to protect our access nature and wild spaces, including the coast.
Find out how you can join the Ramblers movement.