The BMC campaign for coastal access is continuing as we urge the new Coalition Government to realise the importance and economic potential of better access to our beautiful English coastline; we are now pressing them to move ahead with the roll out of Natural England’s scheme.
The BMC has campaigned long and hard to secure better coastal access around our English coast and were heavily involved with shaping Part 9 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act as it went through Parliament under the previous Government. We are now urging the new Coalition, in light of Government expenditure cuts, to continue with the roll out of Natural England’s coastal access scheme.
You can help the BMC campaign for a right of permanent access to our coastline by writing to your local MP and expressing your support for the implementation of the new coastal access rights. This will help ensure that the delivery of better coastal access remains high on the political agenda.
There is currently a lack of clarity and consistency in access arrangements along the coast of England and there are many areas that remain inaccessible. Part 9 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act addresses this as it places a duty on the Secretary of State and Natural England to secure two objectives – to create a series of long-distance routes around the coast of England (a coastal path) and in association with the route, a margin of land along the length of the English coast (a coastal margin) which will be accessible for the purpose of open air recreation.
Natural England is pushing ahead with creating the new coastal path and associated margin of land in five pilot areas around the coast of England but it is unclear what long term money will be available to carry out improvements on the ground in these areas and elsewhere – there is a real threat that Government will delay the roll out of this scheme indefinitely. There are also fears that a Government looking for billions of pounds to save may find this scheme an easy option to cut despite its long term importance.
Help us campaign
If you would like to help us lobby Government to continue with the roll out of the coastal access scheme then please write to your local MP expressing your support for better coastal access. Your local MP can be found here.
Download the campaign letter (England) (pdf)
You can also ask your MP to write to the Secretary of State on your behalf.
We are looking for access volunteers to represent their stretch of the coast in England and to work with BMC head office and local authorities on the ground to ensure that our voice is heard. The BMC and Ramblers are currently putting together a Coastal Access Volunteer Guidance pack and will be running a number of workshops around the country to inform members of the new legislation and how they can get involved. If you are interested or wish to know more, please contact BMC Access & Conservation Officer, Cath Flitcroft on 0161 438 3333 or Cath@thebmc.co.uk
Find out more
Take a look at the BMC Coastal Access Database to see the importance of coastal access to climbing.
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