NATURAL ENGLAND NEWS RELEASE
• Report proposes improved public access to more of Hampshire’s coast
• The 57km route stretches from Highcliffe to Calshot, Hampshire
• Objections or representations invited
Natural England has today (14 March 2018) published its formal proposals to improve public access along a 57km stretch of coast between Highcliffe to Calshot.
There is now a period of eight weeks for legal interests and members of the public to make objections or representations that the Secretary of State must take into account when considering whether to approve the proposals.
If approved, this route will become part of the England Coast Path – the 2,700 mile long distance walking route and England’s newest National Trail currently being developed around the entire English coast by Natural England.
This is the second stretch of the England Coast Path to be developed in Hampshire, work on the final section, around the Isle of Wight began last year.
Fran Davies, Natural England’s Area Manager for Dorset, Hampshire and Isle of Wight said: ‘We’re excited to publish our thoughts on the new route through this historic and environmentally rich coastal landscape, including a section on the southern shore of the New Forest National Park. Our proposals incorporate existing and new access, giving people the right of access to some parts of the coast for the first time.
‘We’ve worked closely with many landowners and partner organisations to get to this stage, for which we’re hugely appreciative. We look forward to hearing people’s views on these proposals for the new route along this beautiful stretch of coast.’
Oliver Crosthwaite Eyre, Chairman of the New Forest National Park Authority said: ‘When the Secretary of State has decided the route, we will be responsible for installing and maintaining the part that will be in the New Forest National Park to the highest standard. This should enable people to experience the wonderful New Forest coast, whilst also protecting the working landscape and the many wildlife species that thrive here.’
Anyone can make representations to Natural England about the report during the eight week period. Owners and occupiers of affected land can make objections about the report on specified grounds, which will be considered by a Planning Inspector before the Secretary of State makes a final decision.
All representations and objections must be received by Natural England no later than midnight on Wednesday 9 May 2018.
Copies of the report can be viewed in local libraries, and Natural England offices. The full report and all the forms and guidance on how to make a representation or objection within the next eight weeks are also available at www.gov.uk.
Notes to Editors
Natural England press office contact:
Paola Salcedo, 07768 834118, email@example.com
Charlotte Rose, 07717 816 618, firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos of the stretch are also available on request. Photos of horses at New Forest coastline, copyright NE.
The Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 places a duty on the Secretary of State and Natural England to secure a long distance walking trail around the open coast of England, together with public access rights to a wider area of land along the way for people to enjoy.
Natural England is working on the entire coastal route, with new sections also opened in Cumbria, Norfolk and the North East.
The organisation has developed detailed plans and created further jobs to enable the entire 2,700 mile route to be completed and opened by 2020. A map showing a timetable for the work is here.
• The England Coast Path will be our longest, newest and most challenging National Trail, passing through some of our finest countryside and coastal locations.
• It will secure legal rights of public access for the first time to typical coastal land including foreshore, beaches, dunes and cliffs.
As well as recommending new sections to the route, the proposals outline improvements to existing access to the coastline, with proposals:
• to identify a clear and continuous way-marked walking route along this part of the coast, bringing some sections of the existing coastal footpath closer to the sea and linking some places together for the first time
• to allow the route to ‘roll back’ if the coastline erodes or slips, solving the long-standing difficulties of maintaining a continuous route along the coast.
About Natural England
Established in 2006, Natural England is the government’s independent adviser on the natural environment. Our work is focused on enhancing England’s wildlife and landscapes and maximising the benefits they bring to the public.
• We establish and care for England’s main wildlife and geological sites, ensuring that over 4,000 National Nature Reserves (NNRs) and Sites of Special Scientific Interest are looked after and improved.
• We work to ensure that England’s landscapes are effectively protected, designating England’s National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and advising widely on their conservation.
• We run Environmental Stewardship and other green farming schemes that deliver over £400 million a year to farmers and landowners, enabling them to enhance the natural environment across two thirds of England’s farmland.
• We fund, manage, and provide scientific expertise for hundreds of conservation projects each year, improving the prospects for thousands of England’s species and habitats.
• We promote access to the wider countryside, helping establish National Trails and coastal trails and ensuring that the public can enjoy and benefit from them.
For more information, visit: www.gov.uk/naturalengland / Twitter @NaturalEngland
Locations to view the report in person
Copies of the report may be viewed at the following locations (please note however that copies are not available to take away):
- Natural England 2nd Floor Cromwell House, 15 Andover Rd, Winchester, Hants, SO23 7BT
- New Forest National Park Authority Lymington Town Hall, Avenue Road, Lymington, SO41 9ZG
- Lepe Country Park Lepe, Exbury, Southampton, SO45 1AD
- New Forest District Council Appletree Court, Beaulieu Road, Lyndhurst, SO43 7PA
- Lymington Library North Close, Lymington, SO41 9BW
- New Milton Library Gore Road, New Milton, BH25 6RW
- Hythe Library Pylewell Road, Hythe, Southampton, SO45 6AQ