Stunning 25-mile stretch of Norfolk’s coast to be opened up to walkers

Feature on the 40th anniversary of the Norfolk Coast as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Cliff

Feature on the 40th anniversary of the Norfolk Coast as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Cliffs between Overstrand and Cromer.Photo: Simon FinlayCopy: Steve DownesFor: EDP SundayEDP pics © 2008(01603) 772434 - Credit: Archant © 2008

A 25-mile stretch of the Norfolk coast will soon open to ramblers, becoming part of the longest natural trail in England it has been announced.

The clearly-marked route, opening between Sea Palling and Weybourne, will provide new rights of access to coastal land including beaches, dunes and cliffs.

And, with coastal erosion an issue to much of the coast, the path will 'roll back' as the cliffs fall away - keeping the path open.

Norfolk County Council cabinet member for the environment David Harrison, said Norfolk's coast already contributes millions of pounds to its economy.

He said: 'The new coastal path will expand our county's green tourism offer and our estimates show that this first stretch alone could boost our economy by an extra £1 million by attracting more walkers keen to spend their time and money discovering the fantastic landscape and history of our coast on foot.'

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The council, who is responsible for preparing this new stretch of land for the public, will contact land owners and households to discuss the design and location of any signs and gates.

And once the work has been completed, the route will be opened - likely towards the end of the year.

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Pamela Abbott, Natural England's area manager for Norfolk and Suffolk, said the expertise of landowners had been invaluable.

She said: 'It's tremendously exciting to know that implementing this first stretch of the England Coast Path in Norfolk is contributing to the creation of one of the longest coast paths in the world.

'Having worked so closely with our partners on all the details, we're delighted that the planning will become a reality and that practical improvements can soon be made along this spectacular stretch of coast.'

The announcement follows on from the secretary of state's approval for two new stretches of England Coast Path last summer, one in Cumbria and one in the North East, which both officially opened to the public last week.

Proposals for other regions are in discussion with local authorities, landowners and businesses.

Once completed, the England Coast Path will be a marked path around the whole English coast, and the longest National Trail in England.

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