Four areas chosen for project for improving English coastline Published: 21 February, 2006
FOUR stretches of English coastline, from Durham in the north-east to Devon in the south-west, have been chosen as locations for a project to look at options to improve the way people can access and enjoy the English coastline, Landscape Minister Jim Knight has announced. Mr Knight said that the study will explore ways to improve opportunities to visit and enjoy coastal areas. “Improving access to our wonderful coastline is something the Government has wanted to do for a long time, and this work is an important step forward,” he said. “As well as access, we are also looking at the potential to improve people’s opportunities to understand and appreciate the natural and historic environment that is such a fundamental part of our nation’s heritage. “We need to look carefully at potential ways to improve access to the coast in ways that will really benefit people and nature, and help people to get the most out of the coast.” The four selected for the project are the Southern Cumbrian coast and Morecambe Bay, the Suffolk coast, the North Devon, Exmoor and West Somerset coast and the County Durham and Hartlepool coast. The study will also explore ways in which benefits for the natural environment could be gained, whilst ensuring that the negative effects of improved access on the landscape and wildlife are minimised. The Natural England partnership, comprising the Countryside Agency, English Nature, and the Rural Development Service, will undertake fact-finding work on the coastal situation and the types of access that would be most valuable to people. These areas represent the diverse conditions around England’s coast. The studies will look at the different types of coastline (for example cliffs, dunes and areas of coastal erosion and accretion), areas with good or less good existing access provision, and other issues such as tourism levels and proximity to large population centres. The Natural England partnership will report in early summer, and Defra will issue a public consultation paper on the subject in the autumn that will help inform a comprehensive coastal access policy.
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