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Coastal Access and the England Coast Path 

The England Coast Path will be a new 2,700-mile national trail around England's coast. The path means that, for the first time, the public will have a secure and legal right of access around the whole of the English coast. Natural England hopes to complete the work in 2020. 

As well as the path, a coastal margin is also being established where appropriate, particularly encompassing land between the trail and the sea. Some land is excepted, such as buildings and gardens, or not suitable for public access, such as a mudflat. Further information can be found in the RYA Guidance Note on the England Coast Path and Coastal Access, including how coastal access could affect recreational boating activities. 


England Coastal Path access rights openEngland Coastal Path areas with open access rights

England Coastal Path progress 20170816England Coastal Path progress (source)

Details of which stretches are currently being worked on are available on the Natural England website, where you can also make comments on proposals. Natural England provide an overview map of progress (see above), as well maps and details of progress in more localised areas. Details are also provided as to how a new stretch is established. Natural England is required to strike a fair balance between the interests of the public in having rights of access, and the interests of those who own and use land over which the path passes. It proposes that, where they meet the statutory criteria, the coast path will usually follow existing walked routes, which might include a mixture of sections with an existing public right of way interspersed with sections without. 

Boat yards, sailing clubs and other boating facilities on the coast, as with all landowners and occupiers with an interest in the coast, will be contacted directly by Natural England to discuss the most appropriate route for the new trail and any concerns about the new access rights. 

Further information can be found in the RYA Guidance Note on the England Coast Path and Coastal Access, and on the Natural England website including guidance for landowners and the public

If you have any questions then please get in touch with us at environment@rya.org.uk.

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