Policy: To ensure sustainable access to the North Devon Coast AONB for the benefit of the health of local people and visitors, consistent with the designation
Recreation is not an objective of the AONB designation but a vital component of our engagement with local people and visitors alike. By bringing people closer to their environment we are able to engender a desire to protect, respect and help support the objectives of the AONB. Coupled with this is a need for all of us to develop healthier lifestyles and benefit from the mental well-being that access to nature and local greenspace can provide.
There are 288km of Public Rights of Way in the AONB, including 86km of South West Coast Path which is a National Trail, 935 ha of Open Access Land, as defined under the CRoW Act, covering approximately 5% of the total area within the AONB. The sandy beaches, rocky shores and exposed bays provide a wide range of beach activities and water sports along the whole coast. Much of the coastline is now accessible to a wide range of the population, with improvements to access points, surfacing, signage and information.
The coast path, watersports and other leisure activities bring significant economic benefits to this remote area, but also environmental impacts that could harm the AONB. Managing these impacts is part of the AONB Partnership’s role to keep a balance between different interests. Improving access to the coast and countryside for disadvantaged communities and populations is addressed through partnership working and new projects.
South West Coast Path
National Trust easy access trail - Bideford Bay & Hartland
National Trust easy access trail - Woolacombe
National Trust easy access trail - Mortehoe
National Trust easy access trail - Baggy Point