THE Isle of Wight could be included on England’s national coastal path map.
The government is to consult on proposals for a 'Wight Coast Trail’ as part of national plans to ring the country’s coastline with a path.
The Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 provided for a coastal trail to be established around the whole English coast, but islands were not included.
The Isle of Wight Ramblers campaigned against the decision not to include the Island and said such a coastal path could be worth millions to the IW's economy and create 750 jobs.
As previously reported, David Howarth, Isle of Wight Ramblers area chairman, said a study commissioned by the Countryside Agency identified that the South West Coastal Path was worth more than £300 million each year to that region’s economy and therefore on a pro-rata basis a path round the Island coastline would be worth £35 million to the Island economy.
Mr Howarth welcomed the news and said there was a lot of support for an Island trail.
The Island’s Ramblers estimate that 50 per cent of the existing
Island coastal path is not truly coastal as many parts run along inland
roads, due to erosion.
The consultation, which will be open to anyone who wants to contribute, is expected to start later this month and run for 16 weeks.