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.
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