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Public invited to comment on new proposals to improve public access along a 37-mile stretch of Norfolk coast

Plans have been published to improve public access along the north Norfolk coast. Picture: Andrew Stone

Plans have been published to improve public access along the north Norfolk coast. Picture: Andrew Stone

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Proposals to improve public access along a 37-mile stretch of Norfolk coast have been published.

Natural England’s proposed route between Weybourne and Hunstanton follows much of the popular Norfolk Coast Path National Trail.

This gives people access to the unique seascape of the North Norfolk Heritage Coast, and the unspoilt landscape of the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The proposals include small improvements to make the area more accessible such as kissing gates at Brancaster and Wells-next-the-Sea and new access along a short section at Morston Downs to avoid a set of steps.

New access is also proposed between Thornham and Brancaster to bring the trail closer to the sea.

The proposals take account of important coastal habitats and the wildlife they support, and are designed to complement and enhance existing on-site management measures at sites already popular with visitors. For example they include interpretation of the unique habitats at Holkham NNR and advice on how the public can protect them.

Martin Wilby, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s environment, development and transport committee, said: “Norfolk’s 84-mile Coast Path is much loved and well used with over 245,000 visitors in 2016/17.

“We’ve been managing the Norfolk Coast Path for more than 30 years and know our stunning coastline is one of the great things that attracts so many people to visit, work and live in our wonderful county.”

If approved, this route will become part of the England Coast Path – the 2700 mile long distance walking route and England’s newest National Trail being developed around the entire English coast by Natural England.

This is the third stretch of the England Coast Path to be developed in Norfolk, the first route between Sea Palling and Weybourne being opened in December 2014 and the second route between Hopton-on-Sea to Sea Palling in October 2016. Work on the final Norfolk section, from Hunstanton to Sutton Bridge, started in 2015.

The full report and all the forms and guidance on how to make a representation or objection within the next eight weeks are available at gov.uk/

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