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England coast path

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Old Sunday 18th February 2018, 11:39   #1
peter.jones
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England coast path

Are any of you set to benefit from the England coast path? or worried about any increased access ?

I'm hoping the stretch between Lepe and Calshot in Hampshire can be resolved. That would make an excellent walk between two relatively underwatched areas of coastline, currently broken by a short private stretch.

https://www.gov.uk/government/collec...s-to-the-coast
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Old Sunday 18th February 2018, 12:40   #2
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I'll ask my mate, he works in rights of way, footpaths etc in Suffolk.



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Old Sunday 18th February 2018, 15:23   #3
peter.jones
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He probably has some interesting examples. Maybe not for public consumption just yet!

"My" stretch has been modestly productive over the years, i've found Black Brant, Slavonian Grebe, Nightingale, Turtle Dove on the Lepe side plus an escaped Turkey Vulture!, (another birder in the last few years has had much greater success with Caspian Tern and Black guillemot plus others). Found Leaches Petrel, resident Firecrest, free parking on the Calshot side. Linking the two would make for an excellent day's walk with a little marshy nature reserve, and a bit of New forest heathland also possible in a circular route. But it's gone awfully quiet on the progress!
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Old Sunday 18th February 2018, 15:42   #4
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It is a political hot potato on my patch.

Wildfowlers have acquired land to keep people out. A farmer keeps people off his land to keep out wildfowlers. Another farmer, presumably, manoeuvring for compensation has cut out traditional access by removing stiles and then threatening with his dogs any visitors who do turn up. The wildfowlers and the farmer put up grotesquely hypocritical signs claiming conservation areas.

I have a permit for a local wildlife trust reserve that I have visited for two decades but now have to climb two gates to access it and only walk along the concrete seawall which can be a slippery deathtrap depending on the tide. The local wildlife trust are either that incompetent or arrogant that they will not engage with permit holders on the topic.

On top of that, the seawall itself is a traditional roost site on the highest tides for a few thousand waders at peak (though I anticipate that alternative sites would be used) and the areas adjacent to the path have been used by waders in breeding attempts (though normally unsuccessfully). We have no existing public footpaths along the coastal stretch and I believe having studied historic OS maps, this is because the original seawall was further inland so the coastal stretch was actually saltmarsh.

My patch list for that stretch includes Upland Sandpiper, Black-winged Pratincole, Pectoral Sandpiper, Kentish Plover, Wryneck, Snow and Lapland Buntings, Twite, Grey Phalarope, Glaucous and Sabine's Gulls, Cattle Egret, Spoonbill, Yellow-browed Warbler, Wryneck, Richard's Pipit and Stone-curlew. For a year or so, I was put off visiting but I've decided to battle it out regardless.

Ho hum........
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Old Sunday 18th February 2018, 15:46   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peter.jones View Post
He probably has some interesting examples. Maybe not for public consumption just yet!

"My" stretch has been modestly productive over the years, i've found Black Brant, Slavonian Grebe, Nightingale, Turtle Dove on the Lepe side plus an escaped Turkey Vulture!, (another birder in the last few years has had much greater success with Caspian Tern and Black guillemot plus others). Found Leaches Petrel, resident Firecrest, free parking on the Calshot side. Linking the two would make for an excellent day's walk with a little marshy nature reserve, and a bit of New forest heathland also possible in a circular route. But it's gone awfully quiet on the progress!
I'll believe it when I see it:-

https://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/england-coast-path

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Old Sunday 18th February 2018, 16:14   #6
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Calshot to Lepe.
This has been talked about for SOOOOO long, and always some issue stops it.
I can remember chatting about it in the 70s whilst canoeing around from Calshot to Lepe then over to IoW; it will be great if it happens, but I am not holding my breath.
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Old Sunday 18th February 2018, 16:50   #7
peter.jones
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You look at Paul's mouthwatering list, there has to be opportunities for us as new stretches open up. (Or the exact opposite if places get flooded with dog walkers).

H: there is commitment to make this path national, the alternative is a road with no pavement about a mile inland. Something is going to give in the next year or so.
One reason for bringing this up is my last two visits to the area, I've seen people in the private bit. Not sure if they were guarding it, abusing it, or early adopters!
Sadly I'm getting too old to be "legged" across sand with my tripod and scope:)
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Old Sunday 18th February 2018, 16:55   #8
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Peter, I have walked some of the estate, with an agronomist years back, so I really would like to get the chance to walk the coast. I so hope you're right.
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Old Sunday 18th February 2018, 17:02   #9
peter.jones
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I think this stretch will be a narrow footpath, barbed wire either side, with high hedges on the estate side. That seems to be the standard solution around these parts!
Like all those footpaths along the river Test, and you only see water at about 5 places
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Old Sunday 18th February 2018, 17:47   #10
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Lymington to Beaulieu river looks like an interesting challenge too!
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Old Sunday 18th February 2018, 18:13   #11
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Houses on the coast, I'd guess from memory. Around Thorns Lane and Sandpit lane looks fun.
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Old Saturday 17th March 2018, 19:40   #12
peter.jones
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The Highcliffe to Calshot stretch now has a bit more detail. My heart sunk when I saw the route so far inland going along the existing road, as opposed to a coastal route between Lepe and Calshot. However, the new path inland from Stansore point could improve visibility to boggy areas and fields. Could actually make for an interesting circular birding walk in the future.

https://www.gov.uk/government/public...t-on-proposals
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Old Sunday 18th March 2018, 07:15   #13
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The birding there always used to be very interesting, but it's a nice coast too.
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Old Sunday 18th March 2018, 08:14   #14
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And if the beach between Lepe and Calshot is opened up to all and sundry it's time for us to say goodbye to the few pairs of Ringed Plover and Oystercatcher that breed on that currently virtually undisturbed stretch, and thus giving them an even harder time of it. If you look at the south Hampshire coast these species are already having a hard time finding anywhere to breed and this just adds another nail in their coffin, and too, this stretch has a high tide roost, which will also be abandoned once the walkers get onto it.
There's already a problem I heard about on Hayling Island where they now hold a surfing festival right in the middle of the breeding season, right in the middle of the breeding area and right in the middle of the SSSI, the local authority reaction to objections? the breeding birds don't help the local economy like the surfing festival does.
With the opening up of these areas for more walkers there will be nowhere left for many of these species to breed and do we want that?
So ask yourselves can I forgo access to one short section of shoreline and allow species to breed and roost undisturbed, or can I, and many other have access to said section of shoreline, disturb what's there, and at the same time hope to find something unusual or rare?

As was drummed in to me at an early stage through the school YOC, the welfare of the birds must come first, but it seems this doesn't apply anymore, particularly where getting access to hard to bird places is involved.

Not for the first time Natural England have got this one badly wrong (particularly as the section at Lepe/Calshot is part of a National Nature Reserve which is supposed to be protected as some of the best examples of habitats and associated wildlife). There should be areas where wildlife can live more undisturbed than in other places, and this section is one of those. There are rare plants on that stretch too and it wouldn't take long for those to be trampled out of existence.
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Old Sunday 18th March 2018, 13:10   #15
peter.jones
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They have avoided the sensitive area, the link 2 or 3 posts up shows the route. I would have hoped for a more creative solution at Cadland house perhaps. For example a narrow screened in path immediately inland of the beach/SSSI, with a peep hole and board to show people what a Ringed Plover looks like, bit of education and awareness etc. rather than routing walkers along a mile or so of country lane, which looks slightly off putting. Certainly not somewhere I would plan to walk along, but I'll give it a go when it is finished.

They are introducing the new footpath which brings you back to the coast at Stansore Point, which makes it more interesting for birding. Surprised they didn't just route it along the roads all the way from Calshot to Lepe, and beyond! Although I shouldn't laugh. There is still time.
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