Kent's Coastal Path: Your Opportunity to Make a Difference
Work on the section from Folkestone to Ramsgate is well advanced
but Natural England's hopes of significantly improving a difficult
section around Sandwich are under threat. Natural England,
supported by many including Kent Ramblers, have proposed a route
along the historic quayside at Richborough Port, avoiding a section
of unattractive and busy main road through an industrial area along
a footway shared with cyclists.
Unfortunately the landowner has objected, despite having made no
use of the quayside prior to the proposal for the coastal path, and
the Inspector has indicated that he is minded to accept the
objection. This would be a major detriment to this part of the
path and a consultation is now under way, ending on 11 September
So all those with an interest in the coastal path now have an
opportunity to affect the outcome by making a representation.
There are more details on our Coastal
Access page. Make your views count.
White Cliffs Walking Festival
The 2014 Festival finished on Wednesday 27 August with some more
splendid walks followed by a barbeque at the Port Arms in
Deal. The total number of participants for all the week's
walks is thought to have comfortably exceeded the 1000 target
despite a couple of days of poor weather.
The Festival had opened the previous Thursday with a ceremony in
Dover at which Ramblers' national President Kate Ashbrook
commended those involved in organising the Festival and stressed the
importance of volunteers doing their bit to look after the path
network when local authorities lacked the resources to do it all
themselves. Local MP Charlie Elphicke also spoke and promised
to join a walk later in the week.
Immediately after the ceremony the first two walks of the
Festival set off, one to walk the cliff tops from Capel le Ferne to
Dover and the other past Dover castle to the Bleriot memorial and
then along the River Dour Greenway.
Planning for next year's festival is already under way. You
can check for details as they become available on the Festival web
Cliffs Walking Festival
Ramblers' President Kate Ashbrook and White Cliffs
Group Chairman Margaret Lubbock
Dover MP Charlie Elphicke speaking at the opening
Festival walkers at the end of their walk in Dover
Top 50 Summer Walks
On Saturday 13 July the Independent published its 2013
supplement of "Top 50 Summer Walks". These included 11 walks from Ramblers'
Routes and one of these was "Teston, Yalding and
the Medway" which was featured in Kent Area's 2012 Annual
There are 30 more fine routes in or very close to Kent on the Walking
in Kent page of this site.
Protecting our Paths
On Saturday (6 July) nearly 30 members met in Lenham to refresh
their knowledge of path protection work in Kent. Some were
current volunteers engaged in path protection work and others were
ordinary members keen to learn about this important aspect of
John Charles, Kent Ramblers volunteer Public Rights of Way
Manager, opened the meeting and welcomed all present.
Graham Rusling from Kent County Council reviewed the impact of
reduced financing on the work being done by his path protection
- To cut costs Kent County Council has cancelled around 30% of
path clearance contracts but the reduced economies of scale mean
that around 50% less work will actually be done. Kent
Ramblers has offered to help clear some of the affected paths
and two pilots will be carried out shortly involving volunteers
from Medway and White Cliffs Groups.
- Graham has reorganised his team's work so that instead of each
staff member having responsibility for a geographical area cases
are allocated to staff as and when they have the time to handle
- Graham stressed the importance of people reporting path
problems on-line so that staff are not distracted from actually
dealing with the problems.
Robert Peel spoke of the need to make the work of Ramblers'
footpath volunteers more widely known. Membership of the
Ramblers both nationally and in Kent is falling and evidence
suggests that the members we are losing fastest and recruiting least
are those joining to support our public rights of way work.
Clearly most members and almost all of over 6 million regular
walkers in Britain do not appreciate the work done by the Ramblers
in ensuring that walking and access are easy. Robert therefore
appealed to all footpath volunteers to help by ensuring that all
their work and especially their successes are reported to John
Charles and onwards to Central Office so that we can publicise them
and, hopefully, encourage more people to support our work.
After lunch a group of ordinary members learned more about the
work of our Local Footpath Officers while those already engaged in
this work looked at a series of case studies involving proposed
footpath diversions or closures.