Ambitious plans to create new coastal walk between South Tyneside and Northumberland

Souter Lighthouse, South Shields
Souter Lighthouse, South Shields

Residents are being asked for their views on plans to improve a walking route along the South Tyneside coastline.

Natural England has published its proposals for the 42-mile stretch of coastal walk between South Bents in South Tyneside to Amble in Northumberland.

If approved, this route will become part of the England Coast Path – the long distance walking route being developed around the entire English coast.

It will join the existing open stretch from North Gare to South Bents, travelling over the rivers Tyne, Blyth and Wansbeck on its way to Amble and the River Coquet.

Brad Tooze, Natural England Northumbria Area Manager said: “This is another great step forward in shaping the next stage of the English Coastal Path from South Tyneside through to Northumbria, where we aim to provide safe and sustainable access through this amazing landscape.

“The input of the landowners has been intrinsic in helping to shape the proposed route and we look forward to hearing more views from farmers, landowner’s and local resident’s over the next eight week consultation period.”

The proposed 42 mile stretch will pass historic buildings including Souter Lighthouse and Tynemouth Priory taking walkers through the seaside attractions of South Shields, North Shields and Whitley Bay, on towards the industrial south east of Northumberland and into rural Northumberland.

People are now being encouraged to make their representations on the report before it will be considered by a Planning Inspector ahead of the Secretary of State making a final decision.

Coun Moira Smith, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety at South Tyneside Council said: “The England Coast path significantly improves access to the coast with benefits to residents, business and visitors alike. We have worked closely with Natural England to help create and improve the coastal access in South Tyneside from South Bents to the Tyne Ferry crossing. I’d encourage people to take part in the consultation and have their say on these important proposals for the South Bents to amble section of the England Coast path.”

All representations and objections must be received by Natural England no later than 5pm on the 19th May 2017. Any received after this time will not be valid.

Copies of the report can be viewed in libraries along the coast between South Bents and Amble. For details on the plans and how to make a representation visit Natural England’s website https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/england-coast-path-south-bents-to-amble