IW Ramblers win first step towards opening up Isle of Wight coast line for all

This is fantastic news and should have far reaching benefits for the tourist economy on the Isle of Wight, as well as residents.

Coastal path:

A campaign to ensure the Isle of Wight is included in the nationwide Coastal Access Scheme has been successful. The outcome will eventually enable Islanders and visitors to walk the whole way around the Island’s 70 miles of coastline.

Despite DEFRA being determined last year to not include the Isle of Wight in the Scheme, people power has triumphed.

Successful campaign
The Isle of Wight Ramblers Association have been pivotal in raising awareness of the importance of being included in the scheme, which could have a tremendous impact on the tourist economy.

Just under 3,000 residents responded to the consultation which ended in January, with over 2,500 of those a result of the Ramblers’ campaigning.

A victory for the Island
David Howarth from the Isle of Wight Ramblers told OnTheWight,

“We are delighted that the Minister has responded positively to our four year long campaign.

“It is a victory for the Island, it’s residents, and a shot in the arm for tourism.”

Benefits to the island’s economy and tourism recognised
Papers released today by DEFRA state:

In the light of the consultation the Government considers that there would be benefits to the island’s economy and tourism by the implementation of a coastal route under the 2009 Act and therefore has:

a. decided to make an Order and lay the necessary Statutory Instrument before Parliament;
b. agreed that Natural England should continue to prioritise its work on the current coastal stretches to deliver coastal access on 1,930 km of the English coast (about 40% of the total) over the next years up to 2020/21; and
c. agreed that Natural England should look at its forward plans for the next stretches of the English coast including the Isle of Wight in accordance with the prioritisation criteria set out in the Coastal Access Scheme.

Full details can be found in the document below

Image: © IW Ramblers

Thursday, 10th July, 2014 1:27pm


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Filed under: Government, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story, Tourism

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6 Comments on "IW Ramblers win first step towards opening up Isle of Wight coast line for all"

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And maybe even between Colwell and Totland!?

Jon Combe
I’m particularly pleased to see this included in the report. “Whilst local negotiations were considered to be useful it was felt that it was not appropriate to rely on voluntary agreements to complete gaps in the existing coastal path, for example English Heritage should be instructed to give the public coastal access to their property on the Osborne Estate and the Isle of Wight Council should be… Read more »
martin william wareham

Thank you I.O.W. Ramblers despite strong opposition from local members of the Landed Gentry Association we now have the possibility to greatly improve access to the coast between wootton and East Cowes Thorness to Newtown where large sections of the Coast path are on very narrow busy roads.

Mark Francis
Apparently the IOW was excluded from the National Scheme as it is “not accessible from the mainland”. Well,the Mainland is not “accessible” from the IOW either but they did not exclude the “Big Island”. Anyway was not there some medieval thing about Isabella de Fortibus allegedly “selling” the Island to Edward I but the deed (which he forced her to sign on her death bed)forgot to include… Read more »
Helen Wood
Great news and congratulations to David Howarth and The Ramblers. This is particularly fantastic news in that we will eventually gain access to stretches of coast which currently have no dedicated path, and it’s a huge coup for local and national campaigning from The Ramblers. However, with regard to the sea wall coast path between Totland to Colwell, that remains the responsibility, and statutory obligation, of the… Read more »