Members may be aware of a long running campaign for the Coast to Coast trail, which has been in existence since 1973, to become a National Trail. This gained impetus when it received backing from Rishi Sunak MP, prior to becoming Chancellor, and it appeared in the Conservative Party manifesto.
Natural England (NE) is now working with North Yorkshire County Council, Cumbria County Council and the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors National Parks on a report for the Secretary of State proposing a Coast to Coast National Trail. Their brief from Defra is to propose that the trail stays as close as possible on the existing route.
NE will shortly be sending relevant landowners a letter introducing the project and answering a few basic questions. They will have a mailbox set up for enquiries which we will share with you in due course.
NE have completed an initial survey of the route and are currently undertaking detailed meetings with the local authorities to go through the survey data and look at any anomalies between the walked line and public rights of way and any other areas of concern. As part of the survey they have also taken photographs of existing infrastructure. They do not anticipate any major changes to the route as the majority is currently on existing public rights of way, Open Access land and long established, well-managed permissive access.
If approval is given by the Secretary of State, NE would then begin working with landowners where appropriate to make sure the route meets National Trail quality standards.
Alongside the work to propose the route as a National Trail, NE are also looking into how they can realise economic benefits, identify potential circular routes and opportunities to improve accessibility etc.
If you have any concerns regarding this proposal or you haven’t received a letter from NE please contact firstname.lastname@example.org at the CLA North office.