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Ramblers Celebrate New Stretch Of Dorset Coast Path


11:44am 14th May 2012

By 2017 you'll be able to walk all the way from Hull to Dorset, via Hadrians Wall and the Wales Coast Path.

Natural England has published five new stretches of coastline that will become part of the new national trail.

It includes a 33 mile path from Rufus Cove on Portland to Lyme Regis.

The move has been welcome by the Ramblers who want the Government to create one coastal path that will allow people to walk around the entire country.

The results of a YouGov Survey commissioned by the Ramblers reveal that almost seven out of 10 British people (69%) believe the public should have legal access to walk along beaches and along the entire coast of England subject to people acting responsibly in areas that protect wildlife and property - which indicates the importance of our coastline to people's enjoyment of the countryside.  This is a right won by the public as part of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009, which promised a continuous walking trail around the coast of England after many years of campaigning led by the Ramblers.

Nicky Philpott, Director of Policy and Campaigns for the Ramblers said, "It is fantastic news that the government is pressing on with its work to create a continuous coastal path. The Ramblers have been campaigning hard to secure this level of commitment. This is a major leap forward for us and for all walkers. As citizens of an island nation, the British public is passionate about their coast and are drawn to it. Just this past weekend thousands of people gathered along the Welsh coastline to celebrate the launch of the Wales Coast Path. It is clear people want and deserve better access to their natural heritage and so the announcement of these next stretches is a triumph for access to our coast."  

Nicky Philpott continues, "As a nation we were promised access to our entire coastline. The Ramblers will continue to campaign hard to hold the government to that promise. We look forward to continued work on the coast path so England can share Wales' pride in a completed coast path and enjoy the huge benefits it will bring."

The English Coast Path will not just be a win for walkers, but also for struggling coastal towns. The South West Coast Path is estimated to generate £307 million a year for the local economy. In South West Wales the 40 year old Pembrokeshire Coast National Trail generates around £68m a year and has been shown to create £52 for every £1 spent on maintenance, and soon Wales will be experiencing the benefits of its coastal path.

A Coastal path around England's coast has the potential to improve public health and well-being by increasing opportunities for walking and encouraging more visits to the coast. It also has enormous potential to bring significant economic benefits for small businesses and to boost economic growth and create jobs in coastal areas.

Work on the trail has begun in 6 different areas and preparations are being made so that the first stretch, near Weymouth in Dorset, can be opened in time for the 2012 Olympics.

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