Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Benn Plans to Open Up the Coastline to Walkers; Labour Party Conference

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Benn Plans to Open Up the Coastline to Walkers; Labour Party Conference

Article excerpt

THE North-East coastline will be opened up to walkers as the Government commits itself to improving scenic routes and paths.

Environment Secretary Hilary Benn yesterday told the Labour party conference the coastline should be as open as the countryside, and promised to introduce new laws to ensure everyone has free access to every cliff and beach in England.

The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is due to introduce the new rights in the next parliament alongside other eco-friendly measures such as phasing out traditional light bulbs in favour more energy efficient replacements.

A recent report by Natural England showed how walkers faced difficult obstacles across large parts of the region's coast. Eroded paths, private land and port developments all blocked routes along the Sunderland/Durham coastline. The department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said the new legislation would "allow Natural England to designate a coastal corridor providing a continuous route along which people can enjoy access to the coast. …

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