Isle of Wight
Ramblers celebrate the Isle of Wight
Coast being opened up for walkers
The Ramblers are celebrating today's news that the government has committed to creating a path around the entire Isle of Wight coastline, following more than five years of campaigning calling for the island to be included in the England Coast Path.
The Isle of Wight was originally left out of the plans for a complete England Coast Path when the Marine and Coastal Access Act was passed in 2009. At this time, the dream of walking around the entire English coast was enshrined in law, but the Isle of Wight was not going to be a part of it.
Thanks to lobbying by Ramblers volunteers and overwhelming public support*, the government has now decided to add the 70-mile footpath around the island to the scheme.
David Howarth, Isle of Wight Ramblers Area Chairman, said:
"We're thrilled by the government's decision to include the Isle of Wight in the plan to open up the whole of the English coast and extremely grateful to the thousands of people on and off the island who have supported our campaign.
"Creating a path around the entire Isle of Wight coast will allow residents and visitors to enjoy all the recreational activities the coast has to offer, including rock pooling, bird watching and shore fishing. Most importantly, people will be able to walk by the seaside without having to walk away from the coast on busy and dangerous roads. It also means that for the first time around 10-miles of the islands northern coast will be opened up for people to enjoy.
"The coast path is not just good news for walkers, but will help to breathe new life into our coastal towns and villages, boosting tourism and the local economy and reconnecting people with their stretch of coast, helping to promote health and wellbeing.
"It is now critical that the Isle of Wight Council works with Natural England to take this exciting opportunity forward. Our volunteers will be working closely with them to help achieve this."
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