England Coast Path – Mersea Island Report by Natural England
England Coast Path – proposals published for second stretch in Essex
- Report proposes improved public access to more of the Essex coast.
- The 13 mile route stretches around the coast of Mersea Island, Essex.
- Objections or representations invited during the next 8 weeks.
Natural England has today 28 June 2017 published its proposals to improve public access along a 13 mile stretch of coast around Mersea Island.
The publication of our proposals opens an eight week window for people to make representations and objections.
The England Coast Path seeks to link you to Britain’s most easterly inhabited island. The path will guide you to sites that highlight Mersea Island’s rich historical and cultural past, on occasion routing you inland for safety reasons away from unsuitable areas of sea wall. It also creates a safe off-road connection between seawalls either side of The Strood causeway which is the only road link to the mainland. The island holds evidence of pre-Roman settlement and the Mersea Museum brings you on a journey through time of the island’s varied history. The recent discovery of a prehistoric mammoth tusk adds to the mystery of what hidden treasures the island still holds.
The England Coast Path on Mersea Island is enriched with fantastic views of mudflats and saltmarshes abundant in coastal wildlife. Access to the mudflats and saltmarshes themselves will be restricted on safety grounds as they are unsuitable to walk on. The path’s proposals recommend ‘roll back’ in areas where there is a likelihood of coastal erosion, allowing the path to realign with the new line of the coast in response to erosion. The west of the island welcomes you to rest and relax in its cosy guesthouses and restaurants, supplied with fresh local seafood, after a day of adventure.
The proposals for the trail take in the wide open and isolated stretches of the northern coast, the busy historic town and beaches of West Mersea. They also reveal the beautiful Cudmore Grove Country Park to the east of the island, as well as providing spectacular views of the coast and estuaries.
The route was created in collaboration with landowners and local people, whose help and knowledge were integral to developing the most suitable route for the England Coast Path on Mersea Island.
If approved, this route will become part of the England Coast Path – the 2700 mile long distance walking route and England’s newest National Trail currently being developed around the entire English coast by Natural England.
This is the second stretch of the England Coast Path to be developed in Essex, as proposals for a route between Maldon and Salcott have already been published. Proposals for Burnham-on-Crouch to Maldon; Salcott to Jaywick; Jaywick to Harwich; and Harwich to Shotley Gate stretches will be published later this year. Initial work on the remaining three stretches in Essex, (Tilbury to Southend; Southend to Wallasea; Wallasea to Burnham-on-Crouch) will begin later this year.
Aidan Lonergan, Natural England’s Area Manager for Essex said:
“The England Coastal Path is a hugely exciting development and landowners and local people have been essential in shaping our proposals and in enabling two new sections of path to join with existing footpaths to make a safe and enjoyable continuous path around Mersea Island. We would like to thank everyone for their time and input so far.’’
‘’Over the next eight weeks we’re inviting all organisations, landowners, farmers, local residents, and businesses to have their say on the proposals and we really look forward to hearing people’s views.’’
Cllr Ian Grundy, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Highways, said:
“In Essex we are fortunate enough to play host to the longest coastline of any English county. The new Mersea Island section of the England Coast Path links several beautiful, natural and historic features on the island, providing a wonderful route for walkers to enjoy the important bird life, varied local culture and open spaces.’’
“It is important that everyone engages with Natural England’s proposals to develop Essex stretches of the England Coast Path to ensure we can create a route that works for residents, businesses and visitors to the county."
Cllr Feltham, Portfolio Holder for Business Leisure and Opportunities for Colchester Borough Council said:
“The Council has been working closely with Natural England to help deliver a new National Trail that will show off the very best of this part of the country’s fantastic historic and natural coastline. In lots of ways the Council is encouraging residents and visitors to get out and about. The England Coast Path is an opportunity to get into the fresh air to take some exercise and appreciate the beautiful natural environment that we are proud to have on our doorstep.’’
‘’When complete the England Coast Path will deliver significant social and economic benefits to our coastal communities and be a great recreational resource for the people of Colchester. The publication of the report provides an 8 week period for the public to comment on the proposals. I’m hoping residents and landowners will take time to have their say on this potentially great asset to our Borough.”
Anyone can make representations to Natural England about the report during the eight week period. Owners and occupiers of affected land can make objections about the report on specified grounds, which will be considered by a Planning Inspector before the Secretary of State makes a final decision.
All representations and objections must be received by Natural England no later than midnight Wednesday 23th August 2017. Copies of the report can be viewed in local libraries, council offices and tourist information centres. The full report and all the forms and guidance on how to make a representation or objection within the next eight weeks are also available on https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/england-coast-path-on-mersea-island-comment-on-proposals
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