England Coast Path: improving public access to the coast
Find out how coastal access is being improved, where work is in progress and where new rights of access are now available.
Overview of progress
You can now comment on the proposals for improved access to the coast between:
- Jaywick to Harwich - (midnight on 11 October 2017)
- Burnham-on-Crouch and Maldon - (midnight on 13 September 2017)
- Portsmouth and South Hayling - (midnight on 13 September 2017)
- Mersea Island - (midnight on 23 August 2017)
- Kimmeridge Bay and Highcliffe - (midnight on 16 August 2017)
- Whitstable and Iwade - (midnight on 16 August 2017)
Send your representations or objections to Natural England by the date in brackets.
Work is well underway on the England Coast Path - a new National Trail around all of England’s coast.
Natural England expects to complete work on the England Coast Path in 2020.
The overview of progress map below shows:
- the stretches that Natural England is currently working on
- the stretches that are open
- when work on new stretches is likely to start
Use the maps on the National Trails website to help plan a walk on the England Coast Path.
As part of this work a ‘coastal margin’ is being identified. The margin includes all land between the trail and the sea. It may also extend inland from the trail if:
- it’s a type of coastal land identified in the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (CROW Act), such as beach, dune or cliff
- there are existing access rights under section 15 of the CROW Act
- Natural England and the landowner agree to follow a clear physical feature landward of the trail
In the coastal margin, you’ll usually have new rights to enjoy areas like beaches. Some areas will not have such rights because they’re:
- excepted land, such as cropped land or buildings and their courtyards or gardens
- not suitable for public access, such as a saltmarsh or mudflat
Other parts of the coastal margin may be steep, unstable and not safe to access. You must take care of your own safety and look out for local notices.
Progress on the England Coast Path near you
The new right of access will be brought into effect at different times around the coast.
Use the maps below to find out which stretches of coast Natural England is working on and where the new right of access is available.
Process to open a new stretch of the England Coast Path
Natural England follows the coastal access scheme when working to open a new stretch of the England Coast Path.
A summary of this process is available:
- Corporate report
Guidance for landowners and the public
Published: 8 October 2014
Updated: 16 August 2017
- Updated page to show consultation for Jaywick to Harwich proposals has opened and consultation for Minehead to Combe Martin proposals has closed.
- Opportunity to comment on report proposals now open for Burnham-on-Crouch to Maldon and Portsmouth to South Hayling stretches.
- Mersea Island consultation is now open for comments.
- Opportunity to comment on report proposals now open for Kimmeridge Bay to Highcliffe and Whitstable to Iwade stretches.
- Minehead to Combe Martin consultation now open
- Opportunity to comment has opened for 2 more stretches
- Opportunity to comment has opened for 2 stretches.
- Walney Island consultation is now open for comments.
- Added link to Newport Bridge to North Gare proposals.
- SoS announcement approves the route for 3 stretches of the England Coast Path.
- Consultation opens on proposed changes to approved route at Dunball Wharf and St Audries Bay in Somerset.
- Filey Brigg to Newport Bridge consultation opens
- Ramsgate to Whitstable consultation opens
- Folkestone to Ramsgate consultation outcome published
- Outline of government's plan to complete the England Coast Path by 2020.
- First published.