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Improved paths open up Copeland's coast

THE PATH along Copeland's coast is being brought back to life to welcome visitors and locals back to this 'hidden gem' of a coastline.

Copeland Council's Connecting Cumbria's Hidden Coast programme, in partnership with Cumbria County Council, has funded improvements to three paths in the St Bees area, which all link to the English Coastal Path.

Work on the Old Corpse Path is already complete. It runs from Nethertown to Seamill Lane and has been made wider, better drained and more accessible. Some gates have been improved and stiles have been replaced with gates to allow more people to use the path.

Planning is now under way for work on a path from St Bees beach to Scalebarrow Road, and there are also plans for improvements to a path near Fleswick Bay.

St Bees parish councillor, Doug Sim, said: "This renovation has been a great improvement and much commented on by villagers. It has also extended the range of the "pram walkers" and there is now a circuit along the Nethertown road, via Seamill beach then back up Seamill Lane.”

Copeland Mayor Mike Starkie added: "This project is fantastic news not only for local people, who are already widely using one of the paths, but for the tourism industry as we move towards welcoming visitors back.

Our coast is our undiscovered gem and making it even more accessible allows visitors and the community to exercise, connect with nature and enjoy the mental health benefits that come with being in a stunning natural environment."

The photographs show part of the Old Corpse Road path before and after the improvements.

The Connecting Cumbria's Hidden Coast programme is led by Copeland Borough Council and funded by £1.15m from Sellafield Ltd  and more than £1m from the Government's Coastal Communities Fund. As well as the new footpath routes, it includes an adrenaline sports feasibility study, coastal running challenge, new beach cafe at Silecroft, new cycle paths and and a coastal art trail.