Every Mile Matters

Photo: the Rumps, Cornwall by Peter Edwards

The South West Coast Path provides health-giving happiness to millions of people every year, it connects hundreds of coastal communities, helps the region’s economy thrive and is one of our most precious wildlife corridors. It is a vehicle for change, that if supported, could help us repair the growing disconnect between us and our environmentYet less than 1% of people who use the Path, give back to it regularly and its long-term future is under threat. 

The damaging effects of climate change 

Increasingly severe storms, rising sea levels, coastal erosion and increased footfall are just some of the challenges we’re facing when it comes to looking after the Path. And the costs of doing so, continue to soar. Over the past five years, we’ve had to invest an extra £2 million to keep the Path in good condition, and yet the Path remains vulnerable. Climate change is already having visible effects on the world and if we don’t act now, untold damage to our region’s coastline is a future we’re all walking towards.  

Why we need your help

Alongside thousands of other charities across the UK, we are facing significant funding losses due to the impact of coronavirus. But looking beyond the effects of the pandemic, the future presents yet more challenges. Our climate is in crisis and the consequences of this can already be seen all along the South West Coast, driving up the cost of keeping the Trail open. We’ve supported the Coast Path over the past 45 years and the costs to maintain, improve and protect the Trail have now risen to around £1,400 per mile each year. If we can’t continue to meet this level of investment the Coast Path will cease to exist in the same way it does now - and the people who rely on access to it and businesses whose livelihoods depend on it, will also be under threat.

Through Every Mile Matters we are aiming to raise £100,000 to help us increase the Path’s resilience against the onslaught of extreme weather; conserve the Trail corridor’s rich biodiversity and distinct cultural heritage; support the south west tourism economy and demonstrate the real, positive impact it has on people’s health and wellbeing. We want to make sure the South West Coast Path not only survives but thrives – benefitting all of society.

How your money helps

Our main priority is, and always will be, to make the South West Coast Path the best it can be – for the benefit of everyone. We fund and co-ordinate a wide range of projects and deliver them with the help of our dedicated partner network. Wherever possible we use money that has been donated to match-fund projects, so that each and every pound we receive goes that much further. We approach every single project with care, carefully considering how people, wildlife and the local economy can all benefit from the improvements we make. This could be anything from re-building damaged sea defences, providing more signage, replacing old steps, resurfacing waterlogged terrain or creating new habitat areas for wildlife.

We also run a number of youth and community engagement projects that help those most in need in society. We provide teacher resources, vital links for people to socialise, offer education on accessing Britain’s best beauty spots and help build people's fitness and confidence through a range of practical activities. 

Find out more about how the Coast Path helps our:

Check out our new art project, showcasing art inspired by the coast by clicking on the link below: