Mention of coastal access legislation was notable by its absence from today’s Queen’s Speech – and campaigners say it must be included in the Government’s programme.
A walker on a coastal path near Robin Hood's Bay, North Yorkshire
The Ramblers’ Association (RA), while welcoming the proposed Marine Bill which would give conservation protection to England’s marine areas, urged the Labour administration to include a right to walk coastal areas in any legislation brought before Parliament.
RA chief executive Tom Franklin said: “We are now urging the Government to include a coastal-access clause in the draft bill, to establish a corridor of access around England’s coastline with provisions for the protection of wildlife biodiversity in the zone. This was promised by Hilary Benn at this year’s Labour Party Conference.
“We are an island nation and the coast is a vital part of our heritage, yet current access to it is patchy at best. There is no right to walk on the foreshore between mean and high tides, so even a child building a sandcastle may technically be trespassing.”
The Queen’s Speech outlines the Government’s plans for legislation it intends to put before Parliament in the forthcoming months.