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Natural England Reveals Plans for Essex Coast Path

Once this final section of the trail is in place, it will complete a 474 kilometer coastal route along the Essex coast. That would start at the pier for Tilbury Ferry and end on the Essex-Suffolk border near Manningtree.

Today, Wednesday 14 October 2020, an eight-week period begins for the public to have their say on the England Coast Path proposals.

The route would be Part of the England Coast Path This is a 2,700 mile hiking route. It is also England’s newest National Trail currently being developed by Natural England across the English coast. The coast between Salcott and Jaywick follows the mouths of the River Colne and part of the Blackwater. This path would be the first continuous path around these estuaries. The nature of the route offers views of well-known locations from different angles, including the coast.

At Point Clear and near Jaywick, the open coast borders the sea with extensive sandy beaches. Brightlingsea, Wivenhoe and West Mersea are popular centers for sailing and other water sports. There are many mussel fisheries in the streams along this stretch, with Mersea Island being particularly known for oysters. The extensive mudflats, the sandy areas and salt marshes as well as the adjacent pasture areas and arable land are of great importance for water birds with a migration background.

Marsh Harrier, Copyright Glyn Sellors, from the Surfbirds Galleries

These habitats often support large flocks of birds during the winter months and the spring / autumn migration periods. This provides a bird watching spectacle as the birds add movement and variety to the open landscape.

In autumn and winter there are often dark-bellied geese, black-tailed goddesses, redshanks and plovers in internationally significant numbers on this route. As well as nationally significant numbers of Shelduck, Avocet, Dunlin and several other wading and wild fowl species.

The route is also a good place to see a wide variety of birds of prey, especially in winter. It also provides nesting grounds for several unusual breeding birds, including the swamp harrow, barn owl, nightingale, tern, and plover.

Aidan Lonergan, Natural England Area Manager for Essex, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire said: We are pleased to announce today our eighth full and final set of proposals for the England Coast Path in Essex. Once set up, the trail gives people the opportunity to enjoy the unique nature, landscape and history that this part of the coast has to offer. We would like to thank everyone for their time and contribution to this process. Over the next 8 weeks we invite all organizations, farmers, residents, visitors and companies to express their views. It is important that all answers are taken into account and we look forward to hearing people’s views.

Councilor Kevin Bentley, Essex County Council vice chairman and Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, said: “We wholeheartedly welcome today’s proposals. To improve access to our beautiful Essex coast so more people can see and share the rich landscapes of the county.

Anyone can comment on the reports to Natural England for a period of 8 weeks.

Owners and users of the affected country may object to the reports for certain reasons. Objections are examined by a planning inspector before the State Secretary makes a final decision.

All statements and objections must be received by Natural England by midnight on Wednesday 9 December 2020 at the latest.

The full reports, as well as all forms and instructions on how to represent or raise an objection within the next 8 weeks, are also available on the website GOV.UK website: Look for ‘Salcott to Jaywick’.

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