Yesterday Natural England submitted a report to the Secretary of State setting out proposals for improved access to the Somerset coast between Brean Down and Minehead. The 90km strech may one day be part of a route right around England's coast.
Campaigners have been calling on the UK government to announce a full timetable for the completion of the England Coast Path amid fears the project, one of the previous administration's initiatives, might suffer from spending cuts and an apparent climate of Coalition hostility to the notion of public access.
But yesterday’s announcement brings the national route a step closer, say the Ramblers. The charity has urged the government to show its commitment to the coast path and to recognise the value of the project.
Last month the Ramblers launched a report making ‘The Case for Coast’ to highlight the health, social and economic benefits the completed England Coast Path would bring to the nation.
Justin Cooke, Ramblers senior policy officer said:
'We’re pleased to see progress is being made in Somerset and that we’re one step closer to opening up this beautiful stretch of the Somerset coastline for all. Our volunteers have been working closely with Natural England to ensure the best route is created for everyone.'
'The path will bring huge recreational, social and economic benefits to Somerset. We want to see those benefits brought to the whole of the country too, which is why we are continuing to lobby government to show its commitment to the coast path and set out a full timeline for its completion.'
'We encourage people in Somerset to have their say and take part in the consultation to ensure the best route forward for all.'
To comment on the report before the deadline in early December see the Natural England website here