We fear that the England Coast Path is set to be scrapped, following remarks from Environment Minister Richard Benyon at the Royal Cornwall Show.
Benyon described the inspiring project to open up the English coast for everyone, as a “sledgehammer to miss a nut” and hinted that it was set to be cut as part of Government spending cuts to be announced tomorrow.
As an island nation, we're drawn to the coast. The smell of the sea air, the sound of waves crashing, the awe-inspiring views – the coast takes over our senses. We campaigned hard to get more of our coast opened up for everyone and we don’t want to lose it.
The planned England Coast Path was a win for walkers but more importantly for our struggling coastal towns. The Wales Coast Path – opened in May 2012 – was walked by 2.8 million people last year, bringing in an additional £16 million to the Welsh economy, creating jobs and putting Wales on the map as a major tourist destination.
The England Coast Path has the potential to bring similar benefits to our shores for very little cost – the planned expenditure on the path for 2012-15 is just £239,000.
We're calling on Richard Benyon to keep the coast path and to make a renewed commitment to our dream of being able to walk along all cliff-tops and enjoy all beaches and you can help by signing our petition for the England Coast Path.
Find out more about our One Coast For All campaign.