Brief History of the Association

We are sometimes asked what we have achieved and have set out below some of the things in which we have been involved in one way or another. We do as well send a steady flow of reports on path deficiencies, both as regards maintenance and the route of the path to the local authorities and the Natural England and the South West Coast Path Team.

1973
Official Formation in May. Attendance Cornish opening at Newquay.
First information sheets produced.
1974
Attendance at South Devon and Dorset opening in September at Beer.
Registration as a Charity.
1975
Clematon Hill, Bigbury, small new section of Coast Path agreed at SWWA's instigation.
Attendance at opening of so-called Exmoor Coast Path.
Bideford Public Enquiry - successful opposition to golf course on the Coast Path at Abbotsham.
Hartland Point success in getting path south from Hartland Point over Blagdon and Upright Cliffs.
Lulworth walk the new range Coast Path.
1976
First Footpath Guide issued. Thurlestone Diversion opposed.
North Cliffs improvements between Portreath and Hayle secured, thanks to National Trust.
Watermouth consulted by Devon County Council. Abbotsbury consulted by Dorset County Council.
1977
Evidence presented to Lord Porchester's Exmoor study.
Evidence given to Devon County Council for Taw/Torridge Estuary survey.
1978
Westward Ho! Attendance at Somerset/N. Devon opening.
Hartland new path seaward of radar station obtained, thanks to South West Way Association.
1979
Evidence given at Public Enquiries at Abbotsbury and Lulworth Cove.
First printed News Letters and Descriptions (illustrated)
1980
Dialogues with Countryside Commission about path deficiencies.
Alternative Coast Path open Glenthorne Estate, Somerset
1981
Path improvements at Watermouth; Braunton to Barnstaple; Dean Quarry; Clematon Hill;
Bigbury; Mothecombe and Maidencombe.
1982
Further openings at: Cleave Farm (N Cornwall) Pentewan and Mount Edgcumbe, (S Cornwall)
Higher Brownstone Farm, Kingswear and a short section west of Berry Head in South Devon.
Also agreement for a high tide route at Mothecombe (S Devon).
1983
Opening of the Widmouth Head section (N Devon), Kingswear and Mansands (S Devon)
Crackington Haven (N Cornwall) with major improvements to path on the western side.
1984
New Sections of path opened on the east bank of the mouth of the River Dart near Kingswear giving access to Mill Bay Cove. And Trebarwith Strand to Backways Cove (N Cornwall).
1985
Culbone - Foreland Point - path at the Glenthorne Estate waymarked as official route.
Pinehaven - Port Quin (N Cornwall) new path opened.
1986
Minehead - Porlock Weir New path between North Hill and Hurlstone Point waymarked.
Black Head (Cornwall) purchased by the National Trust so allowing a coastal route.
1987
Barnstaple/Bideford/Northam new route completed along old railway track.
Bude - attendance at Public Enquiry to prevent development adjacent to footpath.
Chynhalls Point path moved to seaward of hotel.
Branscombe - Attendance at Public Enquiry for true coast path - route adopted.
Bidna/Northam - sea wall breached, acceptable diversion negotiated.
1988
Woody Bay- Trentishoe - Devon County Council adopts our recommended, nearer the coast route.
1989
Fire Beacon Point/Pentargon Cornwall County Council installs new path.
Wembury - attend public meeting to successfully oppose erection of locked gates across Coast Path by Royal Navy.
1991
Buckator - at our request Cornwall County Council re-route official path around the headland.
1992
Watcombe and Maidencombe Our recommended route installed by Devon County Council.
Worthygate Wood - our suggested path installed by National Trust.
1993
Foreland Point - successful opposition to stop closure of path on west side.
Buck's Mills - success with our request for a Path to avoid the holiday complex.
Port Quin - our suggested path installed by National Trust.
Reverse Guide from Poole to Minehead introduced.
1994
Philip Carter steps down as Chairman and Brian Panton is voted in as Chairman.
Invited by Countryside Commission to become a member of the South West Coast Path Steering Group to review the management of the South West Coast Path.
1995
Culbone - section re-opened by Exmoor National Park.
Association details on the Internet.
1996
Path Descriptions for the whole Coast Path published.
Lyme Regis - golf course route reinstated by Dorset County Council.
1997
The SWCP Project published its strategy for the future management of the Coast Path.
The Association becomes a member of the SWCP Management Group.
1998
Our Silver Jubilee Year (25 years old).
The Association launches its Silver Jubilee Appeal to raise funds towards markers at each end of the Coast Path.
Mount Batten, Plymouth - Coast Path opened
1999
Name changed to South West Coast Path Association.
2000
Crock Pits - Exmoor National Park installs a coastal route recommended by Association
2001
Eight Winter Cliff Falls Disrupt Dorset Coast Path.
Celebratory marker installed at Minehead.
Foot & Mouth Crisis - whole Coast Path closed for 3 months.
11 August -Whole Coast Path walked on one day by Association members to celebrate the re-opening of the Coast Path.
2002
Brian Panton steps down as Chairman after eight years in office and Bryan Cath is voted in as Chairman.
Celebratory marker installed at South Haven Point, Poole Harbour.
St German's Beacon - True coastal route installed between Downderry & Portwrinkle
2003
South West Coast Path Association is 30 years old
Easter Saturday - Association arranges 'Walk the whole path in one day' to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the official inclusion of the Somerset and North Devon sections
Chynhalls Cliff - desired realignment is installed by Cornwall County Council.
Isle of Portland - Countryside Agency accepts the route around the Island.
Tregantle Cliff - desired realignment throughout the rifle ranges is installed by the MoD as permissive path. For this we award the MoD our Annual Award.
2004
Annual award presented to Brian Muelaner and National Trust Team for their work at Lansallos.
2005
Strete to Stoke Fleming - realigned Coast Path opened.
Wembury Point - Association donates £1000 to National Trust fundraising to buy this land.
2006
After 33 years in members' homes, our Administration department moves to new office at Lee Mill.
Cain's Folly - Path reinstated after 6 years of an unsatisfactory diversion.
2007
Minehead - Porlock Marsh - Thatcher Point - our requested realignments installed.
Watermouth - Major funding pledged by Association for off road Path realignment.
Porthallow - Design and artists chosen for the halfway marker.
2008
Association On-Line Shop opened.
5000th Member - Jill Fletcher, of Portishead given a presentation at Minehead.
2009
Honorary Secretary, Eric Wallis, listed in New Year's Honours, to receive MBE for his voluntary service to this registered charity.
Porthallow Halfway marker unveiled in May.
2010
Death of Eric Wallis MBE Hon Secretary since 1986 after short illness.
Planning for new style Annual Guide
Planning and surveying the first stretch of the new English Coast Path from Portland to Lulworth Commenced by Natural England.
Coast Path re-routed around Cape Cornwall
2011
New-style Annual Guide introduced
Association moves to larger office at Lee Mill
Margi Hawkins retires as Admin Assistant and Debbie Bakewell takes over her role.
2012
Brian Panton took over as Chairman
Association funding is used to help progress no fewer than twelve improvement projects around the Coast Path (at Baggy Point near Northam; between Westward Ho! and Bucks Mills; at Hartland; at Trevaunance Cove; at Trevega in West Cornwall; Tregerthen and Trevean Cliffs; near Millendreath; at Challaborough; at St Mary's Bay and at Durlston near Swanage
2013
Kate Holland joins the Administration team
The Association's 40th anniversary is celebrated in April and May with the Great South West Walk
The Eric Wallis memorial steps in Royal William Yard, Plymouth are opened
Lizzie Wallis retires as administrator in July