England’s coastal access underplayed

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.

Coastal access with spreading room on the Cumbria coast near Allonby

Coastal access with spreading room on the Cumbria coast near Allonby




About campaignerkate

I am the general secretary of the Open Spaces Society and I campaign for public access, paths and open spaces in town and country.
This entry was posted in Access, Coastal access, walking and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to England’s coastal access underplayed

  1. stravaigerjohn says:

    Reblogged this on Over The Hills and commented:
    Please keep lobbying you MP to speed up England’s coastal access, JB.

  2. Helen Wood says:

    We are thrilled that the Isle of Wight is now included in the scheme.

  3. norman Jones says:

    I was pleased to see your letter in the Guardian and delighted Coastal Access is to move forward much more quickly. However there is a serious change to Coastal Access which resulted from the Lessons Learnt Report from implementing Weymouth Bay which seems to have been missed by the Ramblers. Inland spreading room will occur only if the landowner is agreeable. This is generally fine for landowners like the National Trust and most local authorities but many other landowners would not agree to inland spreading room, hence I suspect the CLA is far more happy.

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