Natural England - Coastal Access

Coastal Access

Work is now well underway on the England Coast Path - a new National Trail around all of England's open coast.

Coastal Access thumbnail
Click on map to see where we are delivering Coastal Access

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Latest news – April 2014

15 April 2014 - the Secretary of State has announced his decision to approve a stretch of the England Coast Path in Norfolk between Sea Palling and Weybourne.

11 April 2014 - two more stretches of the England Coast Path are now open for use. A new 36 km stretch located between Allonby and Whitehaven on the Cumbria coast, and a further 55km stretch is also open from North Gare to South Bents on the Durham, Sunderland and Hartlepool coast in the North East.

31 March 2014 -  preparation starts to improve coastal access along a 61 km stretch of the Norfolk coast between Weybourne and Hunstanton.

Background to Coastal Access

For the first time people will have the right of access around all our open coast, including – where appropriate – ‘spreading room’ along the way where you will be able to rest, relax or admire the view.

The new right of access will be brought into effect at different times around the coast although they are already in place along a short section of coast at Weymouth. There are five stages to the process, explained below.

More work is already underway on several other parts of the coast.

Five stages of the Coastal Access process

  • Stage 1: Prepare - initial preparations for implementation of a coastal stretch.
  • Stage 2: Develop - open dialogue with local landowners and other legal interests in land that may be affected. We explain our initial thoughts about where the route might go, ask them for their views and discuss any issues that might need to be addressed. We also discuss with other key organisations and ensure that we take the necessary steps to protect any key sensitive features.
  • Stage 3: Propose - Secretary of State recieves our report of the proposals for Coastal Access. Anyone can make a representation on the report and owners/occupiers may submit an objection relating to particular aspects of the proposals.
  • Stage 4: Determine - Secretary of State decides whether to approve the proposals in our report based on representations or objections and the recommendations from the Planning Inspectorate.
  • Stage 5: Open - Secretary of State approves the route. Preparations are then made on the ground and the necessary legal paperwork is completed. Once complete, the new public rights of access will come into force on the stretch.

Further information

Click on the region below for more detailed view of each Coastal Access stretch. 

Coastal Access in England: where we are delivering

Hotspot map

North West stretches South West stretches South East stretches East of England stretches North East stretches Yorkshire and The Humber stretches