DEFRA has strongly refuted claims that the £50million plan to build the All England Coastal Path, which will impact on wildfowling clubs around England, has been shelved due to pressure to cut costs.

Last week, The Sunday Times and The Daily Telegraph reported an alleged leak from a Natural England employee stating that the plans would be postponed for at least 10 years. However, speaking to Shooting Times, a DEFRA spokesman refuted the report: ?The story was rubbish. Work on the new coastal path at Weymouth will continue and is due to be completed in time for the Olympics in 2012, and the scheme will be rolled out in the other five pilot areas as planned. Ministers are committed to the coastal path scheme, but will have their own views about where priorities lie.?

A spokesman for Natural England said: ?It is incorrect to say that the coastal access project has been shelved; the availability of funding for a wider roll-out of coastal access schemes will become clearer following the Comprehensive Spending Review process expected to be completed this autumn.?

The rest of this article appears in 11th August issue of Shooting Times.

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