New legislation has led to improved access to the coast line on Walney Island.
Under the Marine and Coastal Access Act, Natural England has been tasked by the government to create a new National Trail around the coast of England, the ‘England Coast Path.’
The section of path around Walney has now been established by Cumbria County Council’s countryside access section, and was opened to the public on Wednesday 12 February.
Cllr Helen Wall, member for Old Barrow, who was present at the opening said: “I am delighted to see this new section in Walney opened up for the public to enjoy. The England Coast Path is a fantastic initiative and will enable people to enjoy our wonderful coastlines and scenery in ways they haven’t been able to before. It’s also wonderful for the people of Walney, who are rightly very proud of their beautiful island.”
Charles Ecroyd, Chairman of the Cumbria and Lakes Joint Access Forum, said: “The new path will help to make people more aware of what we have in this part of the county – fantastic views, fantastic scenery and a tremendous population of people that are very welcoming.”
The works that have taken place to complete the path have been funded by a Natural England grant received by Cumbria County Council. Works on a new route between Whitehaven and Silecroft are also underway, with this section expected to be open in the summer. Further sections, close to the Scottish Border in the north and around Morecambe Bay further south are currently still under development.
Once completed, this will form part of the longest continuous coastal path in the world.