England Coast Path: Mersea Island

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

Map of the stretch

Natural England has begun to investigate how to improve coastal access along a 20km stretch of the Essex coast around Mersea Island.

Officers from Essex County Council are providing Natural England with expert local advice and helping to make sure there is full consultation with local interests during the development of the route.

Stage of progress

Stage 4: Determine

On 28 June 2017 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 on Mersea Island, Essex.

The period for making representations and objections about the report closed at midnight on Wednesday 23 August 2017. The report is still available to view.

Objections are forwarded for consideration by an independent planning inspector appointed by the Secretary of State. The inspector will make recommendations to the Secretary of State in respect of each one.

Natural England may not make any further changes to the report as a result of the representations and objections, but will make comments about them for consideration by the Secretary of State and, in the case of objections, the appointed person (an inspector from the Planning Inspectorate).

The Secretary of State will 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 Essex 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.

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.


Telephone: 0208 026 4923


Coastal Access Team
Natural England
Shaftesbury Road

See the map below for information about progress on improving coastal access in other parts of Essex.

  1. England Coast Path in Essex
Published 9 October 2015
Last updated 4 June 2019 + show all updates
  1. Removed the sentence giving a date for when access is expected to be ready.

  2. Date amended: access expected to be ready in 2020.

  3. Page updated to show this stretch is now at stage 4.

  4. Updated page to show that work on this stretch has reached stages 2 and 3.

  5. First published.