Coast Path near Charlestown reopened
Photo: Anne Cameron hands over the Association’s cheque for £20,000 to Cornwall County Councillor John Oxenham.
(Photo courtesy of Paul Williams, St Austell Voice)
A scenic section of the South West Coast Path is now open after a cliff failure led to its closure and a long inland diversion nearly 4 years ago. The Coast Path just west of the historic port of Charlestown in Cornwall was extremely well used and the link has been missed by local walkers and holidaymakers.
After extensive negotiations with the landowners, the path was eventually re-routed through several back gardens and was opened in time for the Christmas holidays.
To thank Cornwall Council for their work, and to celebrate the re-opening of the path, Anne Cameron, vice Chair of the SW Coast Path Association met with local Councillors to walk the route and to hand over a cheque for £20,000 from the Association to help pay for the work.
Anne Cameron, said: 'This donation of £20,000 is the largest that we have ever made, and reflects the importance that our many members place on having a great Coast Path, close to the sea, that everyone can enjoy.’
The County Councillor for St Austell Bay, John Oxenham, in receiving the cheque on behalf of Cornwall Council, thanked the Association and said: 'The loss of this small length of Coast Path meant a great many people were denied access to this beautiful section of our coastline, and this Path is now a delight to use’.
Mark Owen, the SW Coast Path National Trail Officer explained that this donation was a vital factor in being able to attract funding for the balance of the work from the Rural Development Programme for England, Cornwall Council and Natural England and without the Association’s help, the path would probably remain closed. Even though it is estimated that Coast Path walkers boost the region’s economy by over £200 million pounds per year, in these challenging economic times, voluntary donations towards path improvements by individuals and businesses are a great help in making the case for continued public investment in the upkeep of the path.
The project to open the path was managed by Hamish Gordon, Countryside Officer with Cornwall Council, who said: This proved to be a very challenging project. First we had to obtain geological advice to ensure that the new section of path is sufficiently away from the new cliff edge that it is not at risk of imminent loss. We then had to secure funding, and negotiate to purchase the seaward edge of several gardens to provide land for the new path. The final step has been to construct the path, which itself was made difficult by the recent wet weather.’
If you are interested joining about the Association or find out how they are helping to protect and improve the Coast Path, you can find out more at www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk .
Published on: Jan. 19, 2012