FEATURE: The route to a rambling paradise
Walkers will have even more reason to put their best foot forward as work begins on the world’s longest continuous coastal trail - with a large section passing through Lincolnshire.
The Ramblers organisation is working closely with Natural England to discuss the exact route that it will take from Sutton Bridge to Skegness, a distance of approximately 60 miles.
It’s generated a lot of excitement for both walkers and the potential for increased tourism as people come to join the route, which will stretch almost 3,000 miles around the entire English coastline.
Stuart Parker, Area Secretary of the Lincolnshire Ramblers, said: “The England Coast Path has been a vision of the Ramblers’ Association for many years and having campaigned and lobbied Government it became law by the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009.
“We may not have the rocky craggy coastline of, say, the south west or high cliffs such as in Yorkshire but we have extensive isolated marshes, river estuary, dunes and beach which have an attraction of their own and it’s this contrast of landscapes which makes the coastline of England so appealing ”
“The coast path in Wales has already helped attract several million pounds into their tourist economy.
People do not realise just what an asset the coast is here. People might think it is dull but it is anything but.
“That sort of money may not flow straight here but it becomes an additional part of the overall visitor economy mix which is so important to our communities, including those here in the south of Lincolnshire.”
John Beaven, who is the South Lincolnshire Area Footpath Officer for The Ramblers, said: “The Ramblers are really looking forward to this project.
“Because it’s called the England Coast Path, it has to be in view of the sea. People do not realise just what an asset the coast is here.
“On an evening you get to see geese and ducks coming in and all the nature. People might think it is dull but it is anything but. The sunsets we get here are stunning.
“It will be good for the local economy because we have a tremendously long stretch in Lincolnshire and ours will probably be one of the first to open, particularly between Fosdyke and Sutton Bridge.”
John added: “The route starts at Wingland, Sutton Bridge, and to Fosdyke Bridge it is about 23 miles before it turns and becomes part of the Macmillan Way.
“The road will not be paved but has to be about four metres wide, the standard width for the path.
“There are places to consider such as the Holbeach Marsh Bombing Range and the outcreeks around the marsh that have to be looked at from a safety aspect.
“It is a public right of way north of Holbeach Marsh so what they have to do is improve that and put up new signage. At present there are stiles but we’d like to see kissing gates as some of us are getting a bit old and can’t get over the stiles!”
“Dogs will be allowed, on a lead, and cattle, so signs will have to be up about this.”
For more information, to view the map and find updates on the route visit www.gov.uk and search for England Coast Path: Sutton Bridge to Skegness