Essex Area Ramblers

At the heart of walking in Essex

Essex Coastal Path Training Day

The National Coastal Path has been progressing since 2009 and earlier this year it was announced that the Essex section would start and be completed by 2020. Essex with its many estuaries has the longest coast line in the country and the chance to walk new routes and areas was fully embraced by its members.

Cllr Rodney Bass & Members
Cllr Rodney Bass & Members

On Saturday 24th October, 35 members meet at Maldon. The meeting was opened with an uplifting introduction from Cllr Rodney Bass, Cabinet Member for infrastructure, explaining Essex County Council's commitment and support for the Ramblers in this project. The promise to work closely with the Ramblers was very well received.

Justin Cooke, the Ramblers Officer with responsibilities for the Coastal Path, went through the Act, the incorporation of the seaward side of the path as open access land, the safety, sea views and closeness to the sea of the path and the balance with landowners, all of which was of great interest. The fact that Natural England has powers to extend the path up estuaries but not the absolute powers of the coastal sections was covered. How this affected Essex resulted in the biggest debate of the day. The role of Natural England, its decision making process and involvement with landowners was clarified. The building of working relationships with Natural England was fully discussed and the role of the local Path Contact Person understood.

Two members present have been champions of the idea of a coastal path for many years. Dave Hinchman has walked and mapped the route, while Ann McLaren has remained fully involved and had organised the meeting, both believed this day would never come. They were thanked for their work. Justin was also thanked for his presentation and the clarity it had bought to the thoughts of everyone present. We hope to welcome him back to the opening.

Further discussions and the buffet lunch tended to became one, being relaxed and fulfilling, in more ways than one.

Following lunch, Jackie Harrop of the Maldon and Dengie group led a walk through the delightful town to the River Blackwater with its ancient quays and sailing barges, where it was possible to see some of the issues discussed during the morning. It was a pleasant end to an absorbing day of which much that had not been known before was learnt and the benefits our involvement could bring.

Essex Ramblers showed during the day their enthusiasm for this section of the Natural Coastal Path and hope to welcome many others to see its benefits in the future.

Natural England have divided Essex up into sections. The first six of these are listed below. Anyone wishing to help can do so using the Contact Person for that section.

1. Shotley Gate to Harwich being either side of the River Stour - Gary Howie email:-  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2. Harwich to Jaywich -Jeff Coe email:-  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

3.Jaywich to Salcott - Mags Hobby email:-  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

4. Mersea Island - Mags Hobby email:-  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

5. Salcott to Maldon - Jackie Harrop email:-  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

6. Maldon to Burnham on Crouch - Jackie Harrop email:-  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Alan Goffee
Chair Essex Ramblers
email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.