What route for the Hamble estuary coast path?

As Natural England (NE) gradually develops the England Coast Path with its adjoining access land, local campaigners study the route and argue for the best possible one.

The path between Calshot and Gosport in south Hampshire has a problem when it reaches the Hamble valley.  NE wants to make use of the ferry across the estuary between Warsash and Hamble and not create a path on either side of the estuary.  The Hamble River Valley Forum (HRVF), backed by the Open Spaces Society, believes that there should be an alternative route, on both sides of the estuary, north to the A27 road crossing, about two miles upstream.

4 pink ferry

The pink ferry crosses the estuary to Hamble

The organisations argue that the ferry is uncertain and unreliable, with no timetable (passengers have to summon it using a mobile phone), it is inaccessible several times a year because of high tides, it cannot operate in all weather conditions, it is difficult to gain access to it and it is not financially viable during the winter.  It is therefore not guaranteed to continue in perpetuity.

5 ferry sign

The ferry terminal at Warsash

In March I walked part of the proposed alternative on the eastern side of the estuary.  It would follow the Solent Way, an attractive route.

2 Solent way

The Solent Way

It has plenty of ornithological interest

1 Brent geese

Brent geese

and passes a nature reserve.

3 Nature reserve

Nature reserve

More work is needed for the route on the western side of the estuary but HRVF has identified a potential route.  The A27 crossing is not unpleasant because there are wide footways on the bridge.

Having made their submissions, the organisations await NE’s report to see whether a further campaign is needed.

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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, Birds, campaigns, Coastal access, Natural England, Open Spaces Society, Public paths, walking and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to What route for the Hamble estuary coast path?

  1. Mike Slater says:

    IOW Ramblers walked this route either side of the Hamble last year. It is a viable interesting and enjoyable walk. At 4 pm the public ferry service said closed. Fortunately our group had pre arranged a special service. This does not meet the criteria of a fixed crossing or even a reliable ferry service.

  2. stushurlock says:

    Ramblers Hampshire is with you on this. Lovely route along the Hamble ( and even above the road bridge, but that’s probably a bit too ambitious!)

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