14 May 2012
The Paths for Communities grant scheme has now opened. Natural England is also carrying out three major consultations on long distance routes and the next steps for coastal access.
Defra have asked Natural England to develop and run a new £2 million grant scheme called ‘Paths for Communities’ (P4C). With funding from the Rural Development Programme, the aim of the Scheme will be:
Groups applying for a P4C grant should consider how to secure:
The scheme opened on Monday 14 May.
Natural England has been given responsibility to develop an England coast path which when completed, will be England’s longest National Trail.
The project is being delivered in stages – the first stretch of coastal access was approved in Weymouth earlier this year and will be open in time for people to view the sailing events for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
We are now looking at improving access in on five stretches in Cumbria, Durham, Somerset, Kent and Norfolk, where we have been working with farmers and landowners to look at where the route would go, joining up and using existing rights of way where possible.
Work will continue to develop coastal access routes in Durham, Cumbria, Kent, Somerset and Norfolk. Defra has now asked us to start preparations this year to deliver improved coastal access in these following areas.
There are 13 National Trails in England, marked with the acorn symbol, which provide outstanding walking routes and many horseriding and cycling opportunities through our finest landscapes.
Natural England is contacting over 160 outdoor organisations and local authorities to ask their views about proposals to adjust the ways National Trails in England are looked after in the future.
The consultation - A family of unique trails: Natural England discussion paper on the future management of National Trails from 2013 - proposes a fairer and more flexible funding structure and a greater involvement for local groups and organisations in the ways in which trails are managed.