Consultation on extending coast path from Mablethorpe to Humber Bridge

Natural England is calling for the public to have their say on proposals published this week to improve public access along a 50 mile stretch of the Lincolnshire coast.

The proposals, if approved, will ensure a continuous walking route along the coast and south bank of the estuary between Mablethorpe and Humber Bridge.

From the south the trail follows major coastal dune systems, salt marshes, and sea defences. It passes Donna Nook before entering the seaside resort of Cleethorpes, quickly followed by Grimsby with its historical fishing heritage.

This is the second stretch of the England Coast Path to be developed in Lincolnshire, after the route between Skegness and Mablethorpe was opened in 2020.

Dave Parker, Natural England area manager, said: “We want to thank everyone who has contributed their views so far to help develop this great new proposed addition to the England Coast Path.

“If approved, the creation of the route would avoid damage or disturbance to important wildlife areas and give local communities and visitors a fantastic new way to appreciate and enjoy the rich environment of the Humber estuary and neighbouring coastline.”

There is now a period of eight weeks for members of the public to give their views, which the Secretary of State must take into account when considering whether to approve the proposals.

Chris Miller, team leader of Countryside Services at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “This proposed route runs from Mablethorpe to the Humber Bridge, so over the next eight weeks we are encouraging all local residents, visitors, farmers, business owners and organisations to get in touch with Natural England to share their thoughts and opinions.”

If approved, the route will become part of the England Coastal Path – the 2,700 mile long distance walking route and England’s newest National Trail currently being developed around the entire coast by Natural England.

The England Coastal Path aims to secure legal rights of public access for the first time to coastal land including foreshore, beaches, dunes and cliffs and improve existing access by bringing some sections of the existing coastal footpath closer to the sea and linking places together for the first time.

As well as recommending new sections to the route, the proposals outline improvements to existing access to the coastline.

This includes proposals to identify a clear and continuous way-marked walking route along this part of the coast, bringing some sections of the existing coastal footpath closer to the sea and linking some places together for the first time, and also to allow the route to ‘roll back’ if the coastline erodes or slips, solving the long-standing difficulties of maintaining a continuous route along the coast

Owners and occupiers of affected land may make objections about the proposals on specified grounds, which will be considered by a planning inspector before the Secretary of State makes a final decision.

The deadline for feedback, representations and objections to Natural England is July 7.