England Coast Path: Gretna to Allonby

Find out about the progress of improving coastal access - including maps, process and timing - in Cumbria.

Map of the stretch

Since April 2014 Natural England has been preparing proposals to improve public access along a 98 km (62 miles) stretch of the Cumbrian coast between Gretna and Allonby.

Stage of progress

Stage 4: Determine

On 25 July 2016, Natural England submitted a report to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs setting out the proposals for improved access to the coast between Gretna and Allonby, Cumbria.

The period for making representations and objections about the report closed at 5pm on 19 September 2016. The report is still available to view.

The objections were forwarded for consideration by an independent planning inspector from the Planning Inspectorate, appointed by the Secretary of State (‘the appointed person’).

The inspector invited further representations on 9 objections because they were minded to determine that Natural England’s proposals relating to these objections fail to strike a fair balance.

See the notices for more details. The opportunity to submit a representation is now closed.

The inspector decided to hold a hearing to explore some of the issues in more detail. This was held in December 2017.

The inspector will make recommendations to the Secretary of State in respect of these objections after the consideration of any further representations received.

The Secretary of State will then consider all the representations and objections before making a decision about Natural England’s report.

Next steps

Stage 5: Open

Once the Secretary of State has approved the report, Natural England will start work with Cumbria County Council on preparing the route for public use.

The first step will be to contact owners and occupiers of the affected land to discuss the design and location of any new infrastructure which is required such as signs and gates.

When preparations are complete, new access rights will be brought into force along the route and adjoining spreading room. Work is expected to take a considerable time, given the length and complexity of the stretch. We will update this page when the expected date of completion is known.

Find out more about the England Coast Path

See information about all stretches in preparation around England’s coast.

The coastal access scheme gives details of the process being followed to improve access to the coast.

Contact the coastal access team

Contact Natural England with any comments, suggestions or queries you have about improving coastal access.

Coastal access (North west)

Natural England
Murley Moss Business Village
Oxenholme Road


See the map below for more information about progress on improving coastal access in other parts of the north west of England.

Published 13 May 2014
Last updated 23 October 2017 + show all updates
  1. Information about planned public hearing added.
  2. Added link to notice on objections issued by the Planning Inspectorate
  3. Updated page for the publication of Natural England's proposals.
  4. Delays to route proposals due to severe flooding in the area.
  5. Update to explain Natural England's progress on this stretch of coast. Now at stage 2.
  6. First published.