England Coast Path to be completed by 2020

This section of the page features an image gallery, so if you're using a screen reader you may wish to jump to the main content.

  • ©National Trust

    The South West Coast Path near Ringstead Bay in Dorset

  • ©Tony Cobley

    The coast path near Coleton Fishacre

  • ©John Millar

    The South West Coast Path near Pencarrow Head, Cornwall

Latest update 05.09.2014 12:52

As an island nation we’re shaped by our coast and drawn to the sea. So the Government's announcement that a coast path around England’s shores will be completed - ten years early - by 2020 is a giant step towards opening up access to our remarkable coastline.

Speaking at the Conference for Nature, Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, promised to provide additional funding to the current project bringing the completion date forward.

The journey to coastal access

The Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 set out the framework for access to our coastline. Now, a fast-forwarding of the deadline for the England Coast Path means the dream of a complete path around the UK can become a reality.

Many of us spend time daydreaming about being by the coast and millions of us visit it every year. In fact sixty per cent of us see a visit to the coast, whether for a bracing walk along the cliffs, a breath of sea air or a memorable family holiday, as essential to our quality of life.

Opening up the countryside has long been at the heart of our work as a conservation charity and was a vision held dear by our founders. The journey to fully opening up the English coastline has been a long one and can be traced back to the mass trespass on Kinder Scout in 1932 and the creation of the first National Park in 1951.

The promise of an England Coast Path

The opportunity to roam in the countryside is something we value and many of the coastal places we look after have played their part in the story of the England Coast Path. Among them are the chalky White Cliffs of Dover, the ever changing coastline of Formby and the estuary rich shorelines of south Cornwall and south Devon.

There’s still lots to do to get the route of the coast path right with the challenges of a rapidly changing coastline to face. A renewed commitment from the Government to make coastal access happen is however a big step in the right direction.

We’re committed to working with Natural England, local authorities and partner organisations to create a coast path that we can be proud of as a nation and want to tell the world about.