Unlocking our Coastal Heritage - Route Improvements
The aim was to improve the enjoyment of the route in key locations via re-alignment, better quality surfacing and sign-posting
Research by Natural England and others indicate that people would go walking more often if they were confident that routes were well-marked, pass scenic and interesting places, had no hazardous road sections, had a good surface and well designed gates and other infrastructure. In order to meet these requirements and so deliver a high quality experience for users (and thus increase usage), over 150 projects to improve the Coast Path and key linking routes were completed.
At the start of the Unlocking our Coastal Heritage project, only the larger improvements had been identified, with the remaining sites identified through consultation with users, local tourism businesses, path managers and landowners. The advantage of this approach was that it enabled us to prioritise the improvement work to those paths with the greatest need or would deliver the best value for money. Responding to local needs was also a major factor in attracting over £200,000 of donations from businesses and individuals towards these improvements. This funding was also supplemented by securing contributions from parish, town and county councils, Natural England, the National Trust and other charities, grants and trusts.
As well as improvements to the path itself, some of these projects improved walker's experience in other ways such opening up view points where they had become overgrown with trees, moving back fencing to provide a wider corridor, building family play trails, enhancing informal car parks and much more.