'Help protect our famous coastal path' plea

Picture of stormy seas off Bantham in South Devon

Rough seas battering the coastline at Bantham in the South Hams - Credit: George Hiles

Businesses have been showing their support for the region’s world-famous hiking trail, the South West Coast Path, as the charity which looks after it braces for a turbulent storm season. 

South West Water, Forthglade Natural Pet Food, and industry body The South West Business Council, are backing the Coast Path in a campaign to protect it from increasing extreme weather. The support comes as the winter storms begin taking their toll on the National Trail. 

The South West Coast Path Association has been appealing for donations to its Every Mile Matters campaign to help protect the 630-mile-long Path.  

A picture of the crumbling cliff at West Bay, Dorset

The South West Coast Path being realigned away from crumbling cliffs after storm damage at West Bay in Dorset - Credit: James Loveridge. ​​​​​​​

The Coast Path provides health-giving happiness to over nine million people every year and adds over £500 million to the region’s economy. The Trail has remained open during the pandemic and connects hundreds of coastal communities.  

Wrapping its way around the entire coastline of the South West it is one of our most precious wildlife corridors. Yet its long-term future is at threat due to under funding and coastal erosion caused by climate change. 

Julian Gray, Director of the South West Coast Path Association said “The lockdown has shown how important the Coast Path is for people’s health and wellbeing and the local economy. It’s great to see businesses stepping up to support the Coast Path to ensure it’s there for future generations.” 

Tim Jones, Chairman of the South West Business Council said “The South West Coast Path Association are front runners in ensuring that the challenges we now face regarding physical and mental fitness can be tackled. The National Trail is a huge asset which too many within the region have not fully appreciated - Covid-19 has lifted the lid on the need for healthier communities and healthier businesses. Damage to the footpath over the winter requires constant effort to repair, and with climate change the level of damage will only increase.” 

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Through Every Mile Matters, the team at the SWCPA are aiming to raise £100,000 to help protect the South West Coast Path. 

Businesses can find out about campaign sponsorship opportunities by contacting the SWCPA Fundraising Manager at everymilematters@southwestcoastpath.org.uk