5 September 2012
Natural England is working to create the England Coast Path. Our Coastal Access Scheme sets out our approach to doing this.
We have a duty under the Coastal Access legislation to review the Scheme in the light of our first three years’ experience of implementing it on the ground. This is a review of the Scheme only, not the legislation itself.
From today and for the next eight weeks, we therefore invite organisations and individuals who have already had direct experience - either nationally or locally - of the Scheme to feed into our review and tell us what they think has worked well and not so well. We are also interested to hear wider comments, for example on the design and language of the Scheme, including ways to make it even easier to navigate or understand.
Our experience so far, especially given the opening of the first stretch of route at Weymouth and recent consultations in Durham and Cumbria, suggests that the Scheme has generally worked well, but we know there are some aspects that can be improved. In particular, we intend to address the lessons learned from Defra’s review of implementation at Weymouth.
We will complete our review by March 2013, and publish a report of it soon after that. There will then be a full public consultation on the changes we propose to make to the Scheme as a result of our findings. This will happen ahead of us submitting the revised version of the Scheme for approval by the Secretary of State.