Natural England will today (27 February 2019) open the latest stretch of the England Coast Path, increasing access to the magnificent Lincolnshire coastline with a new 16-mile route from Skegness to Mablethorpe.
Encompassing the tourist hotspot of Skegness, wild sand dunes and the world’s first official cloud spotting area, Lincolnshire’s first open stretch of the England Coast Path will enable people to explore the route’s natural and diverse wildlife that have made the area their home.
Home to a long-established coastal tourism industry, the new Lincolnshire route will benefit from improved access and signposting to allow visitors and locals alike to enjoy the diversity of the coast, with a new boardwalk at Chapel Point improving access to the North Sea Observatory.
Rural Minister Lord Gardiner, said:
England’s beautiful coastline is a sight to behold, and I am delighted that more people than ever before will be able to enjoy its striking scenery during this Year of Green Action.
With Lincolnshire home to some of our most precious coastal habitats, the new stretch of path announced today will open up access while boosting valuable tourism for rural communities and businesses.
Interim Chief Executive of Natural England Marian Spain, who is attending today’s event at the North Sea Observatory, said:
The England Coast Path plays a key role in helping people connect with and access nature and it is a privilege to open the first Lincolnshire stretch.
“From wild dunes to sandy beaches, the public will now be able to easily enjoy the countless beautiful habitats between Skegness and Mablethorpe.
The new route takes into account the area’s important coastal habitats, including the seascapes and unique habitats of Anderby Marsh, Chapel Pit and Wolla Bank Reedbed. Walkers will be able to enjoy the adjacent sand dunes, clay pits and beaches, where a range of bird species such as the bearded tit and reed bunting thrive.
Users will also enjoy views of Woola Bank Site of Scientific Special Interest (SSSI) at very low tides – a submerged forest dating from the Neolithic Period – and access to the world’s first official cloud spotting area at the Anderby Creek Cloud Bar.
Natural England is currently establishing a 2,700-mile path around the entire English coastline, with today’s stretch the eleventh to open. When completed, it will be the longest continuous coastal walking route in the world. It will also become a National Trail – the nation’s finest and most popular long-distance paths.
Today’s launch comes during the government’s Year of Green Action, a commitment outlined in the 25-Year Environment Plan to inspire more people to engage with the natural world.
Colin Davie, Executive Councillor for economic development at Lincolnshire County Council, said:
I’m delighted that the England Coastal path now runs from Skegness to Mablethorpe, through our beautiful Coastal Country Park. We have such a spectacular coastline with amazing wildlife, Blue Flag beaches and ‘excellent’ bathing waters – perfect for people to explore.
Tourism is vital to our county’s economy and our coastal strip attracts millions of visitors each year. I’m sure the new coastal path will encourage many more people to visit Lincolnshire and explore our brilliant coastline.