Update of the Essex Coast Path
Publishing work on Essex Coast Path is now getting re-started after the long ‘hold up’ through April, May and early June during the local and national election period.
The first Essex Stretch you may remember was Maldon to Salcott on 30th March when Natural England sent their report to the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and made its details public. All representations and objections had to made by 5pm on 25th May 2017. The Natural England Coast Path Web site is showing it as remaining at Stage 4 as I write my report. We know Michael Gove MP for Surrey Heath was appointed new SoS by the incoming government.
By the time you read this report we expect plans for Mersea Island and Maldon to Burnham on Crouch will have been published by Natural England, they are due on 28th June. Then on 19th July Jaywick to Harwich follow.
Essex Stages 5 Harwich to Shotgate and 6 Salcott to Jaywick are at present still being worked on by Natural England. Our ongoing thanks go to all involved with getting the trail to this stage.
Week commencing 10th July I have two separate meetings scheduled first the regular liaison meeting with Natural England for a general look as to how things are going along the whole Essex Stretch from the Suffolk border to the Thames crossing to Kent currently agreed to be by the Tilbury Ferry. Next day my first in depth meeting to discuss Ramblers findings from the survey our members are currently undertaking on the Tilbury to Southend Section. Some more reports still to come in for this section.
Surveyors are currently completing their reports on Southend to Wallasea Island and the three islands Foulness, Potton and Wallasea which have now been combined by Natural England into one section. I am expecting more written reports over the next few weeks. A date to discuss these with Natural England has yet to be made.
The surveyors have completed their reports on the section from Burnham on Crouch to Wallasea Island and I have received most of them, the stretch from Burnham on Crouch as far as Hullbridge is agreed between us. Again as yet have no date to open discussions with NE on this stretch.
Alan is leading the preparations for celebrating the openings for each individual section of the path. A firm date for them to be the opened is still to be confirmed.
The same goes for the whole Essex Route. Arrangements will be finalised and the details published when a better idea of a date is given by Natural England. 2020 is the cut-off date that was used up to the general election.
Arrangements are also being set in place within Area for Ramblers to be involved in the new National Trails Partnership and to ensure we have the means to keep the new Trail in good repair although I will not be personally involved in either.
Ann McLaren 26th June 2017