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Plans for new 27-mile Suffolk coastal path revealed

PUBLISHED: 00:01 15 January 2020 | UPDATED: 10:27 15 January 2020

The new route planned for the England Coast Path in Suffolk. Picture: NATURAL ENGLAND

The new route planned for the England Coast Path in Suffolk. Picture: NATURAL ENGLAND

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Plans for a new 27-mile coastal path between Shotley Gate and Felixstowe Ferry, providing walkers with improved access to the Suffolk shoreline, have been revealed.

Suffolk's coast is to have the first section of a new national path Picture: MARK EWELSSuffolk's coast is to have the first section of a new national path Picture: MARK EWELS

The new route has been announced by Natural England which is aiming to make Suffolk part of a new 2,700 mile walking trail being developed around coastal areas of the country known as the England Coast Path.

The new pathway would be much closer to the coast than existing trails and stretch from Shotley Gate, up the Orwell estuary almost to Ipswich, then back down to Felixstowe and on to the hamlet of Felixstowe Ferry.

The announcement also marks the start of an eight week consultation period which will allow the public to have their say on the England Coast Path proposals.

Councillor Andrew Reid, Suffolk County Council's cabinet member for highways, transport and rural affairs, said: "I am very pleased that Natural England is publishing the first of the reports which reveal the route that the England Coastal Path will take in Suffolk.

Felixstowe Ferry is the start or end point for the first section of the first stretch of the new England coast path  Pictures: Paul Nixon PhotographyFelixstowe Ferry is the start or end point for the first section of the first stretch of the new England coast path Pictures: Paul Nixon Photography

"This is a very exciting time for all those who love the Suffolk coastline and enjoy the peace and solitude it provides.

"We very much look forward to continuing to work with Natural England on the other stretches and launching Suffolk's first fully fledged national trail."

Work on four more routes in Suffolk - Harwich to Shotley Gate, Felixstowe Ferry to Bawdsey, Bawdsey to Aldeburgh, and Aldeburgh to Hopton on Sea - is underway and plans are due to be released in 2020.

This stretch of coast is dynamic and subject to ongoing change. The proposals therefore incorporate the recommendation that the coast path would be able to "roll back" in response to this in order to maintain a continuous route for walkers.

The Dip, Felixstowe - part of the new national trail.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe Dip, Felixstowe - part of the new national trail. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Hannah Thacker, Natural England's area manager for Norfolk and Suffolk, said: "I am pleased to unveil the first England Coast Path plans in Suffolk. We have had discussions with landowners and key organisations along the proposed route, and their input has been essential and helped shape the proposals.

"Over the next eight weeks, we are inviting all organisations, farmers, local residents, visitors and businesses to have their say, and we look forward to hearing people's views."

To comment on the plans, visit this website.

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