Walkers can now enjoy 66 miles of new and improved National Trail with the launch of the first stretch of the England Coast Path in Kent and East Sussex.
The continuous route between Camber and Ramsgate is the first section of the route to open in the south east of England, offering unbridled views of coastline, including the iconic White Cliffs of Dover and the unique areas of Dungeness and Pegwell Bay.
Natural England is currently establishing a 2,700-mile path around the entire English coastline by 2020 and work is already under way on 60 per cent of the route. When completed, it will be the longest continuous coastal walking route in the world.
Andrew Sells, chairman of Natural England, said: “This beautiful stretch will allow walkers to enjoy amazing views, fabulous wildlife and places with significant cultural and historical value – all from a high-quality footpath. It will also connect coastal communities and encourage walkers to visit more of the coast, bringing an added economic boost to the region.”
Dame Helen Ghosh, director general of the National Trust, said: “We are a proud partner in Natural England’s England Coast Path. The path represents one of the biggest steps forward for countryside and coastal access in a generation, making space for nature and people around our shores. The coast path offers the chance to create a corridor for wildlife habitats to recover and thrive, while allowing people to experience natural heritage at first hand.”
The route provides a link between communities and towns along the coast including Camber and Lydd, Greatstone and Hythe and Deal and Sandwich.
Latest Natural England research due to be published this summer, shows 313 million visits were made to the English coast between March 2014 and February 2015. Findings also show between March 2009 and February 2015, there was a 138 per cent increase in visits to paths, cycleways and bridleways at coastal locations.
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