First Stretch Of English Coastal Path Open
The Ramblers are celebrating today as it welcomes the opening of the first stretch of the England Coast Path to the public
Posted: 6 July 2012
by Nikalas Cook
Following the Secretary of State's approval on 29th June 2012, the 17 mile stretch of the England Coast Path at Weymouth is now open for the public to enjoy and the Ramblers are celebrating with an inaugural walk today.
Ramblers volunteers have worked alongside Natural England and Dorset County Council, to help ensure the best possible outcome for walkers on this stretch of the coast path, which takes in Weymouth bay. Thanks in part to efforts by Ramblers Volunteers, parts of the coast path now runs closer to the sea, and for the first time the path includes ‘spreading room’ - land on either side of the path so that people walking along the coast have secure access to the wonderful beaches and views on one side and have room to explore and relax on the landward side.
Ramblers President Kate Ashbrook said: "I’ll be visiting this stretch in a week’s time with the Dorset Ramblers as they celebrate the entire 17 miles with an inaugural walk, and I can’t wait to see what’s been accomplished. Although a lot of the stretch was already in existence, there have been some brilliant improvements to make it easier and more enjoyable for people walking in Weymouth. These include better views in several parts as the path winds closer to the sea than it did before, and room on either side of the path to relax and enjoy the surroundings of the Dorset coastline. The completion of this first stretch of the new coastal path is a great achievement, and shows just how wonderful it will be to have the route right round the English coast.”
Ramblers will be heading to the coast of Weymouth today (Friday 6th July) to be among the first to walk the first official stretch of the English Coastal Path.
Kate Continues: “The South West Coast Path generates an estimated £307 million a year for the local economy. Here at Weymouth it has been moved nearer to the sea to incorporate the new coastal path. We hope this new stretch will help bring even more benefits to Weymouth and we look forward to seeing the same improvements all the way round our coastline to help revive our struggling coastal towns. I encourage anyone with a love for walking to get out there and enjoy exploring the new and improved access to the Weymouth coast.”
Preparations for the next stretch in Dorset are set to begin this year and will include 33 miles from Portland, Rufus Cove to Lyme Regis. The Ramblers will continue to work with Natural England, landowners, local authorities and other parties to find the best route forward for all in order to realise the dream of a complete English Coastal Path.
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