Work to begin on Englandâ€™s coastal path
Natural England’s Coastal Access Scheme sets out the pathway around the coast and accessible land beside it, and the first stages will soon begin on a stretch of coast at Weymouth. Implementation is then due to start in 2011 in five other areas – Cumbria, East Riding, Kent, Norfolk and Somerset.
Poul Christensen, Chair of Natural England, said: “The publication of this scheme is an important step in making clear, secure and consistent coastal access a reality for England. It is the blueprint that will be used at each leg of the journey, as we develop an all-England coast path stretch by stretch around the country.”
Under the 2009 Marine and Coastal Access Act, Natural England has a duty to improve access to the English coast through the creation of a continuous long-distance walking route. The approved scheme details how the route will be aligned and the areas – such as beaches, dunes and headlands – where people can rest and enjoy a picnic en-route.
The scheme was developed following extensive research, field testing and discussions during the past two years, and the route was approved after public consultations.
“This country has one of the finest coastlines in the world, but many sections lack a secure, satisfactory path. The scheme is a historic step towards better and clearer access along our coast,” Christensen added.