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Wirral to Wales Coastal Path Proposals Ready for Review

Published: 16th December 2020 11:41

Gerry Rusbridge from Natural England's Coastal Access Team has advised that interested parties can comment on proposals for improved access to the coast around the Wirral, including the Neston area.

Coastal path map for Wirral to Welsh Border

He said: "On Wednesday 16th December 2020 Natural England submitted its compendium of reports to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs setting out our proposals for improved access to the coast from Birkenhead to the Welsh border.

"These proposals form part of a programme to establish a continuous walking route around England's coastline, as set out in the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009.

"Only owners, tenants or occupiers of affected land may make an objection to the Secretary of State but anyone can make a representation to the Secretary of State about these proposals.

"Further details about our reports can be found  here.

"By visiting the coastal access webpage for this stretch of coast you will find all the information you need including the following documents and forms:

  • The Overview and 3 individual reports with accompanying maps;
  • The forms that must be used for making a representation or an objection;
  • Guidance notes to help you complete the form(s).

"All representations and objections about any of the reports must be received by Natural England no later than midnight on Wednesday 10th February 2021, preferably by email. We cannot consider any responses received after this deadline.

"Given the current situation with regards to Covid-19, we would be especially grateful if you can return any completed objections or representations to us by Email, to the mailbox shown. If you have no option but to return by post, please be aware that we may well not be able to send you an acknowledgement of receipt as quickly as would normally be the case.

"If you have any further queries regarding the process or require further copies of the forms, then please get in touch by email.

"The Secretary of State will make a decision about each individual report when all representations and objections relating to that report have been considered. Establishment of the new access arrangements on individual lengths of coast will not begin until that decision is made in relation to the relevant report."

Of particular interest to Neston area residents may be the report on the stretch from The Boat House in Parkgate to the Welsh border, here.

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Robin H
At 12:10 on 16th December 2020, Robin H commented:
My interest, apart from the route, is the way it connects with local walking routes, including signage and interpretation, eg will it/should it signpost inland facilities and interests eg Ness Gardens, Burton, RSPB, Neston Town Centre – no need for Parkgate as it’s en-route. I am also interested in the economic impact. Neston is effectively the start of the Path for people doing it clockwise with access by public transport. There’s bound to be a demand for accommodation and walking supplies and for tent camping. Access to the very start at the border is only on foot with no transport or shops or accommodation nearby.
Andrew B
At 19:48 on 21st December 2020, Andrew B commented:
Highways England are proposing to exclude access to the land in the coastal margin seaward of route sections BHW-3-S001 to BHW-3-S044 all year round, "as it is unsuitable for public access”. This includes the marshes between the Old Quay and Denhall Quay (BHW-3-S028 to S040). Make a representation using the online form if you want to continue using the area. https://tinyurl.com/yb9oaeos
brian m
At 15:53 on 24th December 2020, brian m commented:
The route looks inviting. Will it be walkers only? Or will it be open to cyclists too?
Anthony A
At 14:36 on 12th January 2021, Anthony A commented:
Quite agree with you Andrew B. While I am in favour of the route generally I think it's disgraceful that it's being used as a pretext to slip in a reduction in access to our countryside. See the article I've written elsewhere on AMA about this.
Better the devil you know
At 13:16 on 18th January 2021, Better the devil you know commented:
I guess Natural England are only doing what they are required to do as set out by Government and to also protect areas of international important designations (RAMSAR, SSSI, SPA, SAC). As for the RSPB, well they obviously want to safeguard the environment for their own interests and are possibly one of the biggest landholders out there. I suppose they could actually simply restrict access as a landowner if they so wished. And because the RSPB share conservational interests with Natural England, I would hope they are speaking to each other!

People have been rescued from the estuary and there are dangers out there to those not aware of them. Luckily these rescues are few and far between. The dangers of idiots walking up Snowden in unsuitable clothing is well documented! Not being aware of an incoming tide can be as equally dangerous but not as well documented!

Every day is a school day. In well over 40 years I’ve never heard of that path being called the ‘Fishermans Path’. Needs to be changed to ‘dogwalkers path’ if you ask me reflecting the majority of its users (That’s not a complaint about responsible dog walkers by the way… Although to that guy who wasn’t so responsible with 3 dogs and said dog poo gets washed out by the tide, well the tide comes in first pal).

So, it looks like an interesting argument is about to unfold, which I shall watch with interest and possibly mild amusement. But it seems to me the area which is 'mostly' frequented by people using the estuary is being excluded from the proposal to restrict access. Personally I wont sign the petition, but I also applaud those taking an interest. But I do hope that interest is with an eye towards conservation being as, or even more, important than the access some of us may have enjoyed in the past without considering the impacts to an internationally designated site (I count myself in that).

Finally, I don’t think much will change anyway because let’s face it who will enforce it?

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