Marsh route “unsafe”

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Last week Rye News published an article on the fact that Natural England’s Coast Path between Eastbourne and Camber will not pass through Rye and began investigating the various barriers to its implementation.

ESCC’s Right of Way that has disappeared

One of the issues that arose is that a Right of Way, which is listed on OS maps and meant to be managed by East Sussex County Council (ESCC), has disappeared. The reason why this is important is because it could have been an alternative route for walkers along the river Rother to Camber Sands that avoided Rye Golf Club.

A staff member at ESCC explains the history to the Right of Way, but not why it still appears in walking maps when it has not been operational for decades.

An East Sussex County Council spokesman said: “This footpath, which runs across saltmarsh next to the River Rother, would once have been used by fishermen to access jetties and boat moorings which have not existed for many decades.

“The footpath is regularly below the water level at high tides and our records show that since the 1930s it has been necessary for walkers to use alternative paths to avoid the marsh.

“The natural gullies and channels which cross the marsh have also widened in the period since the path has fallen in to disuse. Significant work would be needed to make it accessible during the periods when it is not overwhelmed by the tide.

“This would damage the saltmarsh habitat, which is protected as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, therefore we have no plans to undertake works to reinstate the path.

A deep gully crossing the ESCC Right of Way to Camber

“Natural England have informed us they don’t plan to route the England Coast Path along the paths over the saltmarsh because the area is unsuitable for access and due to the risk of damage to the saltmarsh if walkers were encouraged to cross it.

“However, Natural England are currently consulting about the route of the England Coast Path and any comments to them can be made at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/england-coast-path-eastbourne-to-camber

Image Credits: Kevin McCarthy .

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