Kent Ramblers: Coastal Access



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Coastal Access in Kent

Since the Marine and Coastal Access Act of 2009 came into force work has been under way to create a continuous path around the coastline of England.  While primary responsibility for the project lies with Natural England, many others are involved too.  In particular, volunteers from the Ramblers survey each section and advise Natural England on the optimum route from a walker's point of view.  Local authorities are responsible for the work on the ground, especially new signage and furniture such as stiles and gates.

Perhaps most importantly, when the project seemed to be faltering around 2013 because of lack of Government will, the Ramblers launched a national campaign which not only saved the project but saw the planned completion date brought forward to 2020.

In Kent we have a dedicated Coastal Access Officer, Ian Wild, who has worked closely with Natural England and Kent County Council to ensure the best feasible route for walkers.

The first section of the England Coast Path in Kent, running 66 miles from just across the Sussex border in Camber through Dungeness, Folkestone, Dover, Deal and Sandwich to Ramsgate was opened on 19 July 2016.

The route from Ramsgate to Whitstable has been finalised and should be open sometime in 2019 once the necessary signage is in place and a new path created through the golf course at Kingsgate.  Natural England's proposed route from Whitstable to Iwade has been published and a public consultation completed; we await the outcome.  Work is now in hand to continue the route around the Isle of Sheppey then through Rochester and Gravesend to Woolwich.

We in Kent Ramblers have used our intimate knowledge of the area and the path to produce a printed guide to the open part of the route (shown red on the above map) with great maps and a wealth of background information in its lavishly illustrated 80 pages.  Details of how to obtain the book are on our publications page.  All profits from this book support the work of the Ramblers, without which there would probably never have been an England Coast Path.

The cover and some pages from our printed guide: