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Consultation launched on white cliffs of Dover access

Posted 20 August 2012
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Consultation launched on white cliffs of Dover access
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Those who like to go walking above the famous white cliffs of Dover will now get the chance to have their say about the proposed route of the English Coastal Path through the area.

Natural England has published its draft proposals for the section of the path between the Lower Leas Coastal Park in Folkestone and Ramsgate Pier.

This includes roll-back provisions for the area of the white cliffs, which means the path will automatically be adjusted in accordance with changes to topography caused by coastal erosion.

While a few adjustments are made for instances where the path passes through towns, which include Folkestone, Dover, Deal and Ramsgate, the path mostly remains very close to the sea shore.

One exception to this is the Sandwich Peninsula, where there is poor access. Better paths are planned to help improve the route as it follows the River Stour inland from its estuary to the village, before doubling back on itself alongside the A256 and then the riverside again until it turns towards Ramsgate. Some of this area is part of the Sandwich and Pegwell Bay National Nature Reserve.

The blueprint will also move existing paths between Dover and Folkestone nearer the sea and create access in certain places for the first time ever, with the second aspect being significant as very little of the area is currently classed as open access land.

Members of the public who have comments to make on the issue have until November 9th to do so.

This is the second public consultation to be launched on a proposal regarding the path this month, with the possibility of the Isle of Wight being included also on the agenda.

Although the isle is sufficiently separate from the mainland not to be included - unlike islands connected to the adjacent coast by short bridges such as Portsea - the potential popularity of such a route has led to a consultation being launched.

The consultation on the route on the north-east coast around County Durham, Sunderland and Hartlepool has now closed.