£40,000 Legacy Trail Nears Completion
9:22am 13th November 2013
New and engaging waymarks on the Dorset coast that aim to encourage local people and visitors to explore the natural environment and improve access between Weymouth and Portland are nearing completion.
The Wild about Weymouth and Portland Legacy Trail allows visitors to walk across 20 million years of Jurassic time from Littlemoor to Portland Bill and is the flagship project of a series of investments supported by the South West Coast Path Team.
Various partners have contributed to the £40,000 Dorset Legacy Trail led by Dorset Wildlife Trust, including a £20,000 grant from the South West Coast Path team's 'Unlocking our Coastal Heritage Project', funded by the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE). It also received match funding from the Big Lottery as part of Natural England's Access to Nature scheme.
Bella Crawford, from the South West Coast Path team, said:
"It has been fantastic to see all the hard work of the past three years coming to fruition, including projects such the Weymouth and Portland Legacy Trail. The Unlocking the Coastal Heritage project has been all about giving locals and visitors a far greater understanding and enjoyment of the natural environment on or near the Coast Path for years to come."
In the past three years a total of 86 locations have now benefited from interpretation projects, completing the third of four key strands that make up the total £2.1m RDPE funded project, which aims to increase the economic value of the South West Coast Path by protecting and enhancing heritage features, improving the quality of the route and working with businesses to improve the facilities and information provided to visitors.
The interpretation work has been completed with the support of businesses and partners at key gateway sites to the Coast Path, from campsites and coastguard lookout stations to nature reserves and car parks.
Lyn Cooch, from Dorset Countryside, said:
"So far people have responded really well to the new waypoints, watching them evolve and enjoying the dry stone walling and locally carved pieces. Unique to each location but with a common theme, we hope they will encourage people to explore more discovering the area around each location or perhaps even walking the whole trail!"