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CASE STUDY FOR NEW RURAL PARTNERSHIP

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Exmoor and the West Somerset Coast have been selected as one of four study areas for a new flagship project to look...
Exmoor and the West Somerset Coast have been selected as one of four study areas for a new flagship project to look at ways to improve the way people can access and enjoy the English coastline.

The project area, stretching from Instow near Barnstaple on the North Devon Coast to the River Parrett near Bridgwater has been selected partly due to the success of the work carried out by Somerset CC on the West Somerset Coast Path.

The 'Access to the English Coast' project will be a flagship event for Natural England following its formal creation in October 2006. The Natural England Partnership, comprising the Countryside Agency, English Nature and the Rural Development Service will undertake fact finding work on the coastal situation and the types of access that would be most valuable to people.

Sarah Littler, manager of Somerset CC's rights of way development team, said: 'By creating the West Somerset Coast Path between Minehead and Steart we have already demonstrated our commitment to improving access and hope that we can contribute to and benefit from this study project.'

Hazel Prior-Sankey, Somerset CC's portfolio holder for planning, transport and waste, added: 'I am delighted that the Somerset coastline has been chosen as a pilot area for improving people's opportunities to enjoy and appreciate their coastal area.

'The spectacular and diverse nature of Somerset's coastline has long been a major asset for tourism and businesses. Further sympathetic development of access opportunities will be welcomed by walkers and entrepreneurs alike.'

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