Work starts on final stretches of Coastal Access in Devon and Cornwall

The Association welcomes the announcement today by Natural England that they are starting work to investigate options to improve the route of the South West Coast Path in Devon and Cornwall as part of their work to create a continuous walking route around England’s coastline, by 2020 as set out in the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009.

The sections announced today are:

  • Combe Martin to Marsland Mouth (the Devon / Cornwall boundary)
  • Marsland Mouth to Newquay
  • Newquay to Penzance
  • Tamar to Kingswear

Now these are underway, work on the England Coast Path is either in progress or complete over the entire South West Coast Path. It is anticipated this research and consultation stage to develop route proposals will take at least a year, formal consulations are then undertaken, and a report submitted to the Secretary of State for approval. Once approved, work can then start on constructing any new route sections with the aim of ensuring that the whole route is complete by 2020.

As part of the widespread consultations, Natural England undertake with landowners and interested parties, we will be helping by identifing those locations where we think the new legislation can be used to improve the route of the South West Coast Path. However, in most places the existing route will remain unchanged, and in these locations there will still be benefits to walkers as it will make it easier to deal with any future loss of the path to landslip or erosion, and it will confirm public access rights over certain coastal land types such as beaches and cliffs, which is something the legislation also addresses.

You can find out more about the proposals at

Once all the new routes are in place and the England Coast Path is complete, the South West Coast Path will retain its separate name and there are no plans to extend it beyond  Minehead or Poole Harbour.

Published on: June 30, 2017