The Guardian‘s Travel section ran a feature on Saturday 23 August about coastal access in England. Only it wasn’t about coastal access, it kept referring to the ‘coastal path’. The standfirst was: ‘Following Wales’s lead, England is opening a national coastal path.’ The author, Chris Moss, then described the route between North Gare, Hartlepool and South Bents in Sunderland, which I helped to open on behalf of the Ramblers in April.
The article was wrong on two counts. England did not follow Wales’s lead, it was already planning coastal access when Wales began to promote the idea of a coastal path. Secondly, the English coastal access will be superior to that in Wales. My letter, on behalf of the Open Spaces Society, was published in today’s Guardian:
Your feature on England’s new coastal access (Travel, 23 August) underplays the achievement by referring to it merely as a ‘coastal path’. The whole point of England’s coastal access is that it provides spreading room, where the public has the right to walk, between the path and the sea and inland to the first boundary. The Welsh Coastal Path, although brilliant, is only a route; there is no spreading room.