Monday, October 30, 2006

Long Walk to Freedom...?

Re-posted after computer crash...

Great news in the Sunday Times: Labour may force farmers and privacy obsessed landowners to open up Britain’s entire coastline to ramblers.

According to the ST, a proposal is likely in the new year to join up the jumble of thousands of existing rights of way into a properly planned walking network.

If true, it means ramblers will soon be able to follow the entire 11,000-mile coastline along a “round-Britain footpath”.

What an amazing challenge - walking round Britain and never being out of site of the waves!

The Times reckons that when open, it would take a fit walker well over a year to complete.

Currently, access is blocked to 2,000 privately owned beaches, sand dunes, cliff tops and marshes, which means ramblers trying to walk the coast are often forced to take long diversions inland.

It would be a major extension of Labour’s right to roam measures which became law last year, but which did not cover access to the coast.

The Times highlights The Wash as one of the coastal routes currently barred by holiday homes and caravan sites.

Watch out for farmers and landowners ironically objecting that ramblers will damage the countryside.

The Sunday Times also reports that some coastal military land may even be opened up under the plan.

I’m not sure how much of the Lincolnshire coast is currently open to ramblers and whether this proposal would include the RAF bombing range off the Lincolnshire coast where a Tornado ditched last week HERE.

If so, I hope they'll be issuing ramblers with steel helmets!

5 comments:

Bruno (Skegness) said...

I've never had a problem with coastal access.

But then I can't read the "Keep Out" signs.

liz said...

Super idea. I somehow don't think they will let us roam on military ground. It will be interesting to see how it develops.

fairdealphil said...

bruno:

no doubt the powers that be will be consulting you on this, as few will know more than you about walking the coast...

fairdealphil said...

liz:

you may be right of course.

as a former soldier having trained on such areas as salisbury plain, romney marshes, and thetford forest, the military are reasonably good custodians of the natural landscape, the odd tank track and hulk excepted!!!

Brynley said...

Yes, it's ironic, but true. Salisbury Plain, Thetford Forest and parts of Purbeck in Dorset have escaped development because the military have been allowed to rampage.