Graphic: Best feet forward in crusade to secure a coastal dream

The view south along the promenade at Gorleston towards Hopton on the east coast of Norfolk.Picture:

The view south along the promenade at Gorleston towards Hopton on the east coast of Norfolk.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014

Its shimmering seas, golden sands and unique wildlife are well known to visitors and locals alike, providing a picturesque backdrop for the perfect holiday snap.

People walking along Caister beach on the east coast of Norfolk.Picture: James Bass

People walking along Caister beach on the east coast of Norfolk.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014

Click here to view the graphicBut a plan to open up Norfolk's east coast to walkers and ramblers hopes to exploit its tucked away gems that lie off the traditional tourist path, while providing an easy route to its more famous landmarks.

Natural England has this week put forward a bid to establish a coast path from Hopton to Sea Palling in a bid to further improve public access to the beaches and their surrounding landscape.

The plan has been submitted as part of a wider project to establish a national trail around the English coast, and those living on the scenic sweep are now invited to have their say.

Sally Fishwick, who helped put together the Natural England proposal, said the route aimed to give people the 'confidence' to stroll easily from one point to the next.

'At the moment there's other footpaths but they don't link up so it's a bit of a stop-start effect. We want people to be able to enjoy walking the coast with confidence,' she added.


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The walkway aims to provide a continuous clearly-marked route along the 31km stretch, which will bring some existing footpath sections closer to the sea and link other beauty spots for the first time. It would also be able to be rolled back if the coastline erodes or slips.

Mrs Fishwick said there would not be much need for new surfacing to be laid as good signage would be enough to keep walkers on route.

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It is hoped the pathway, if approved, will open up less-trodden areas of the coast to visitors and bring a tourism boost to communities off the beaten track.

'We want people to explore areas they're perhaps not exploring at the moment and spread the use out from some of the honey pot sites,' Mrs Fishwick added.

'If people are regularly walking at Winterton, have they thought about walking at Sea Palling? There's a lot to explore.'

Members of the public, as well as owners and occupiers of affected land, now have eight weeks to make comments on the plan, which will be considered by the government before a final decision on whether the route can go ahead is made.

If approved it would link up with an existing coastal path between Weybourne and Sea Palling, which was given the go ahead in April, and will open to the public in December.

Copies of Sea Palling – Hopton report can be viewed at libraries in Caister, Gorleston, Great Yarmouth, Martham and Stalham, at Yarmouth Town Hall and County Hall in Norwich.

Visit www.naturalengland.org.uk for more information.

What do you think? Write, with full contact details, to Letters Editor, EDP, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE or email EDPLetters@archant.co.uk

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