News

Storm damaged Hope Cove repaired for Coast Path walkers

A badly damaged section of the Coast Path at Hope Cove has been repaired with a new sea wall thanks to work carried out by and funding from the South West Coast Path Association and Devon County Council.

The violent storms of 5 February 2014 carved large chunks out of the cliff at the back of Mouthwell Beach in Hope Cove, South Devon.

Local people captured the storms and their impact on the day. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHmNOBxpmgc )

The Coast Path was severed, and a diversion was put in place, while a temporary scaffold bridge was erected using South Hams Appeal funding raised by the Association in 2014.

Erosion continued to scour the cliffs, and even the bridge was under threat, if further damage was caused to its fixings.

Devon County Council designed a comprehensive solution to build a protective sea wall, which was completed in early April 2016, and supported by the Coastal Communities Fund, Devon County Council and a further contribution from the South Hams Appeal Fund.

The project is part of a series of storm damage repairs that the Association has been leading thanks to a grant it received from the Coastal Communities Fund (CCF) of £1m in 2014 – half of which funded the repairs while the other half is being used to ramp up its marketing and promotion of the Coast Path. All the repair projects are now complete ahead the main walking season.

Due to its success in making a real difference to the rural economies of the region, attracting £468m in tourism spend each year from around 8 million visitors according to its research, the Association successfully bid for an additional grant, and received an extra £130,000 earlier this year to carry out further repair projects. It is one of eight projects to receive a share of £800,000 from the government to create jobs and help seaside towns attract visitors all-year round. 

Escalating costs of the repairs in the original project plan and with new projects identified as being in need of urgent repair after the first round of funding was secured, mean’t that the funding was absolutely necessary to ensure the Path remains open to visitors, thus continuing to boost the local tourist economy.

Mark Owen, National Trail Officer for the Coast Path who oversees its maintenance says:

“The impact that the cliff falls and associated Coast Path closures had on local businesses following the storms in early 2014 actually led to a decrease in tourism spend and jobs supported by the Coast Path were estimated to have reduced from 11,393 to 10,610 in the region.

“The repairs therefore, will help to encourage visitors to return and support the creation of more jobs in the tourism industry which benefit from the Coast Path.”

For more information about the South West Coast Path Association visit www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk

Published on: May 27, 2016