Peak & Northern Footpaths Society (est.1894)

Coastal Path: Silverdale to Cleveleys - Consultation on Proposed Route by Natural England

Terry Norris, Consultations Manager at Taylor House

This article is from Signpost 62, Spring 2020

A matter of great interest to the Society is the proposal in relation to the path now recognised as definitive, in front of Brown’s Houses behind the sea wall. Those with long memories my recall that the status of this path was first called into question some 20 years ago when it was to be part of the Lancashire Coastal path. The report from Natural England is now available on line (https://gov.uk/englandcoastpath).

The answer is set out in England Coastal Path Stretch: Silverdale to Cleveley, Report SDC1 Cove Well, Silverdale to Wild Duck Hall, Bolton-le-Sands, section 1.3.3 (page 21 of the document): “Subsequent to the completion of our ECP planning work in this area, we were made aware of the outcome of a pubic rights of way enquiry, which confirms the existence of a public footpath on the access road between Brown’s Houses and the top of the foreshore. We considered aligning the trail in front of the cottages at Brown’s Houses. We opted for the proposed route because although the recently confirmed pubic footpath would allow walkers to avoid the most difficult area of the foreshore, it would still involve crossing an area of foreshore below an exposed sloping limestone pavement that is regularly inundated at high tides. We therefore concluded that, overall, the proposed route struck the best balance."

The ‘proposed route’ passes around Brown’s Houses and then rejoins the path along the estuary shore. See the map SDC 1b: Jack Scout to Quaker’s Stag on page 69 of the report. Disappointing but any walker has a right to use the public footpath above the sea wall and then pass through the gate onto the foreshore to pick up the official route parallel to the shoreline.

The public can respond to the report by making a representation by filling in the document on Natural England’s web site. This must be submitted by 4 March. The Society’s response has been to argue that the official route should follow the access road in front of Brown’s Houses. Further that the Society would have preferred the proposed newly created path around the rear of the properties at Brown’s Houses to be available as an alternative should the tide be unsuitable to follow the access road and then continue along the foreshore. We have also asked that as a minimum the official guidance for users of the coastal path makes clear that there is another route along a public right of way which enables walkers to remain closer to the coast.


Next: PNFS Can Help Improve a Path Near You

Page title:Coastal Path: Silverdale to Cleveleys - Consultation on Proposed Route by Natural England
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