A consultation on plans to open up for the first time the whole of England’s coastline to the public was launched on 19 June by Environment Secretary David Miliband.

These plans have not been welcomed by landowners, conservationists and wildfowlers, who fear that the proposals will jeopardise the natural habitat and the sporting rights of the areas.

At present, parts of the English coastline are unavailable to walkers. David Milliband comments: “The coast is our birthright and everyone should be able to enjoy it. I want families to have safe and secure access to walk, climb, scramble over rocks, paddle and play all along our coastline.”

DEFRA, which is working in conjunction with Natural England, wishes to: “Create a clear access corridor of varying width around the coast, with clifftop walks complemented by beaches, dunes, headlands and viewpoints.”