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Revamped walking trail on North Norfolk coast opened

PUBLISHED: 08:25 28 February 2020 | UPDATED: 08:25 28 February 2020

A new circular walk between Holkham and Wells and accessiblity improvements to a popular part of the Norfolk Coast Path have officially been opened. From left, Adam Blackbourn from Active Trails, Holkham Estate's general manager of conservation, Jake Fiennes, Andrew Middleton and Matt Hayward from Norfolk County Council and county councillor for Wells, Dr Marie Strong. Picture: Stuart Anderson

A new circular walk between Holkham and Wells and accessiblity improvements to a popular part of the Norfolk Coast Path have officially been opened. From left, Adam Blackbourn from Active Trails, Holkham Estate's general manager of conservation, Jake Fiennes, Andrew Middleton and Matt Hayward from Norfolk County Council and county councillor for Wells, Dr Marie Strong. Picture: Stuart Anderson

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Ever more nature-lovers are able to enjoy one of Norfolk’s most popular beauty spots following £205,000 worth of pathway works.

A 1.7mi (2.8km) stretch of the Norfolk Coastal Path between Holkham and Wells has been given a makeover, which has opened up a new 6.75mi (10.9km) circular walk.

Matt Hayward, Norfolk Council's Community lead project officer, said around 900 tonnes of gravel, granite and sand had been used in the upgrade, which had greatly improved that part of the pedestrian and cycle path.

Mr Hayward said: "It's now a much smoother surface, it has protected the tree roots, and because it's unbound, it drains much better, which prevents it from flooding."

More than 100,000 people use that stretch of the path - which links Holkham Estate and beach with Wells town centre - every month over the summer months.

A new circular walk between Holkham and Wells and accessiblity improvements to a popular part of the Norfolk Coast Path have officially been opened. Picture: Stuart AndersonA new circular walk between Holkham and Wells and accessiblity improvements to a popular part of the Norfolk Coast Path have officially been opened. Picture: Stuart Anderson

Adam Blackbourn, from Active Trails, said the improvements made the path accessible to wheelchair users such as himself.

Mr Blackbourn, from Grimston, near King's Lynn, said: "I think it will open it up to a lot more people.

"Before it was very soft in places, bumpy and very uneven. You wouldn't have been able to get a wheelchair all the way down there, so it's great to see it now.

"It's also going to be a big benefit to people who are visually impaired because there are no roots coming up from the path."

A new circular walk between Holkham and Wells and accessiblity improvements to a popular part of the Norfolk Coast Path have officially been opened. From left, Holkham Estate's general manager of conservation, Jake Fiennes, Andrew Middleton and Matt Hayward from Norfolk County Council, county councillor for Wells, Dr Marie Strong and, front, Adam Blackbourn from Active Trails. Picture: Stuart AndersonA new circular walk between Holkham and Wells and accessiblity improvements to a popular part of the Norfolk Coast Path have officially been opened. From left, Holkham Estate's general manager of conservation, Jake Fiennes, Andrew Middleton and Matt Hayward from Norfolk County Council, county councillor for Wells, Dr Marie Strong and, front, Adam Blackbourn from Active Trails. Picture: Stuart Anderson

The works took about 12 weeks to complete.

Dr Marie Strong, county councillor for Wells, said: "It is a privilege to live in such a beautiful part of the country and this project, which will open up paths to many more people, is something of which the county council can be proud."

The new circular path brings the total number of circular routes off the coastal trail up to 29. Sights to see along the way include four pillboxes built to defend Holkham Bay in the Second World War.

Wildlife to be found along the 'sand dunes' part of the trail include natter jack toads, while in the 'pine wood' habitat visitors could spot adders, grass snakes, slow worms, birds and bats.

A new circular walk between Holkham and Wells and accessiblity improvements to a popular part of the Norfolk Coast Path have officially been opened. Picture: Stuart AndersonA new circular walk between Holkham and Wells and accessiblity improvements to a popular part of the Norfolk Coast Path have officially been opened. Picture: Stuart Anderson

To find out more about the route, and other circular walking trails in Norfolk, visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/trails

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A map of the new Holkham circular walking path. Image: Norfolk County CouncilA map of the new Holkham circular walking path. Image: Norfolk County Council

A view of the Norfolk Coastal Path at Holkham before the upgrade. Picture: Supplied by Matt HaywardA view of the Norfolk Coastal Path at Holkham before the upgrade. Picture: Supplied by Matt Hayward

A view of the Norfolk Coastal Path at Holkham before the upgrade. Picture: Supplied by Matt HaywardA view of the Norfolk Coastal Path at Holkham before the upgrade. Picture: Supplied by Matt Hayward

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