Nearly 30 million walks demonstrates huge popularity of England’s coastal paths.

New figures showcase the health and economic benefits of walking on England’s coastal paths

As families across the country embark on a traditional Boxing Day walk, new figures out today (26 December) reveal the huge popularity of England’s coastal paths with 29.1 million walking trips made over a six-month period, boosting local economies and bringing health and wellbeing benefits to visitors.

The never-before-released data was collected by Natural England – the government’s adviser on the natural environment. It shows the significant value of coastal walking for health and wellbeing, with 97% of people feeling refreshed and revitalised as a result of their visit. The data also revealed that visits boosted the economy by £350 million, with day-trippers spending on average £8.65 per day in coastal shops and overnight visitors spending on average £36.73. This supported more than 5,900 full-time equivalent jobs along the English coast. Natural England is currently establishing a 2,700-mile path around the entire English coastline. Walkers will be able to enjoy, explore and experience some of our finest and most important cultural and natural heritage – from the white cliffs of Dover, to the industrial heritage of the North East. When completed, the England Coast Path will be the longest continuous coastal walking route in the world.

Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers said:

“The popularity of the English coast is fantastic news for the millions of people who visit, work and live along it, and there is no better way to relax and enjoy the natural environment than by walking along our beautiful shores. We are committed through our 25 Year Environment Plan to encourage more people connect with nature, and I encourage everyone who can to get outside during the festive period to enjoy the outdoors.” Click here to read more

Natural England unveils plans for 125 miles of England Coast Path in north west England

The England Coast Path proposals cover a 125-mile stretch of coast between Silecroft and Cleveleys around the Duddon estuary and iconic Morecambe Bay. These plans cover the final 71 miles of the England Coast Path to be published in Cumbria and the first 54 miles of the Lancashire coast. The proposals include 27 miles of new path, where people could not previously access the coast. Click here to read more

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