Living Coast: Cumbria

England Coastal Path North- West pilot project

Natural England and Lake District Foundation are working in partnership to support the exciting developments for the England’s Coast Path (ECP). Once complete the footpath with be the longest waymarked coastal trail in the world at 2,700 miles, set for completion by 2020.

Cumbria has been successfully selected as one of three England’s Living Coast pilot projects part of the ECP developments, the project is called Living Coast: Cumbria.

Living Coast: Cumbria has a long term vision to both improve the coastal environment of the North-West coast and to encourage social and economic reform to the area by engaging people with the coastal environment. To be able to deliver projects that support this vision  requires sustainable financing.

The North-West coastal footpath will run from Gretna to the Welsh Border.

The Lake District Foundation are working in partnership with Natural England to get engagement and investment from local large industries to support the Living Coast: Cumbria project.

If you are interested in engaging with the Living Coast: Cumbria get in touch with Caroline Conway caroline.conway@lakedistrictfoundation.org / 01539 822622.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Living Coast?

The Living Coast project see the England Coast Path (ECP) as more than just a path.  It is a national programme to capitalise on the completion of the ECP in 2020. The project is a visionary, landscape scale programme for the whole of the English coastline with locally delivered projects within a national framework that will deliver big outcomes for nature and people.

What is the vision and core objectives for Living Coast?

The Vision

More people from more sectors of society benefit from the environmental, economic and social services provided by the England Coast Path

The Core Objectives

  • To increase the number and diversity of visits and visitors to the coast
  • To develop the ECP as a responsible tourism destination that provides high quality, locally distinctive, inclusive facilities and experiences for both local communities and visitors
  • To create sustainable tourism and local economies that value the ECP and invest in the path’s corridor to manage and improve the access and environmental assets

What are the Living Coast: Cumbria project aims?

  • How the West is One aims to have a beneficial impact on the environment of West Cumbria and the people who live, work and visit
  • Lake District National Park welcomes 19 million visitors each year and only 8% head to the west coast – Living Coast: Cumbria aims tackle awareness and attractiveness to the West Coast.
  • Improve understanding of the coastal environment, why it is special, why it needs protecting and the benefits people can get from spending time in nature.
  • Increase biodiversity, reduce habitat loss and improve habitat connectivity, while balancing increased coastal users.

What is the approach for Living Coast: Cumbria?

  • Industry engagement – sustainable, long term approach.
  • Trail Partnerships – best way to manage long distance trails, bringing together people with different skill sets, opening up news avenues for ECP.
  • Social Science Research – Focus on young people (aged 11-18). The aim is to understand what young people in coastal environments think of the natural environment.  The research will provide lessons learned and generate ideas from this pilot to be replicated nationally.
  • Beach Schools – A Youth Steering Group will help develop ideas for how the Beach School can work for young people.  It will provide a resource for local schools and groups to use for outdoor education session.
    Beach Schools will be used for holiday clubs for both local young people and visitors.
  • Ticket to Ride – the focus is highlighting and encouraging use of the Cumbrian Coast train line push. A series of one mile maps will be created starting from stations on the line. The maps designed will have the input of local people and will include environmental, historical and cultural interpretation and will include links to local businesses and ECP. There will be an App developed alongside the maps with a call to action to ask the user to donate money to the Living Coast: Cumbria pilot project or specific project e.g. Beach Schools, Social Science Research.

Where the funds generated from the pilot project go?

The donations generated will sit in a fund with the Lake District Foundation. The money will be spent on the repairs for the path or one of the pilot projects, Social Science Research, Beach Schools or Ticket to Ride.

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