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MS column: Jane Hutt on anniversary of Wales Coastal Path

This year we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Wales Coastal path which was launched on the 5th May 2012 as a visitor destination which is free to use and open all year round. It is 870miles/1400km long and since its opening in 2012, the Wales Coast Path has established itself as a beacon of our nation’s natural beauty and is the first of its kind in the world.

It is one continuous path covered by eight regional guidebooks the Vale of Glamorgan is in the South Wales Coast & Severn Estuary section which is 97 miles/157 km in total.

Welsh Government provides Natural Resources Wales an annual budget to maintain, improve and promote the Wales Coast Path, in close partnership with local coastal authorities.

The Path is an important part of Wales’ tourism offer. It makes a huge contribution to the Welsh economy. It is estimated that it generates around £84 million a year in visitor spending and supports more than 1,000 jobs. The path also brings broader health and well-being benefits.

We must make sure the benefits of the Path are valued and enjoyed by people and communities across the country, in particular everyone who lives and works near our coast.

Over the past 10 year residents of and visitors to the Vale of Glamorgan have enjoyed the beautiful coastal path. I joined my nephew, Ian Howells, for part of his walk in the Vale when he walked Offas Dyke and the Wales Coastal Path while fundraising for charity.

I am also always pleased to join the Ramblers and Valeways for their walks including their Coast Path festival, held most recently in 2019 in Llantwit Major. Find out more about local walking at www.valeways.org.uk

The Wales Coastal Path has been a great success attracting thousands of visitors to Wales but also opening up our coastline to local people and communities.

Find out more at www.walescoastpath.gov.uk

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