The Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 provides for a coastal route round England and Wales with areas for recreation such as beaches, dunes and cliffs.
Natural England is responsible for bringing in the route in England. It must first develop proposals for the line that the route should take along particular stretches of coast, and the recreation areas. It then has to consult locally about the proposals. The proposals will need to be approved by the Secretary of State. Natural England will then be responsible for work on the ground to make the route possible, like installing bridges, steps or gates. Once the route comes into force the public will have a right of access to the coastal route for open-air recreation on foot.
The Act does not give a deadline for the coastal route. The government estimates that it will take about 10 years.
The Wales Coast Path website gives information about the path in Wales (see Related links, right).