The Underhooken between Beer Head and Branscombe.

East Devon District Council’s countryside team and other landowners maintain the South West Coast Path throughout the year

Sidmouth and East Devon’s Walking Festival  starts on Saturday September 23rd.  It is an ideal time to discover some hidden gems along the beautiful South West Coast Path.

The festival walks will be taking in areas of the path which is popular with walkers, runners and sightseers. All walks are free of charge but limited and must be booked in advance through the Sidmouth Tourist Centre.

East Devon District Council’s countryside team manages much of the stretch of the path from Exmouth to Lyme Regis which forms part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.

Since the start of 2017, countryside rangers have worked more than 250 hours along the path, maintaining it for the public’s enjoyment and safety. The majority of the work on this section of coast path is carried out by countryside ranger, Dave Palmer.

This year he has installed a new gate and fence at Ladram Bay, replaced signage and kept the path clear of plants and fallen trees.

Dave, who has worked along the path for 27 years, said:

The Coast Path provides amazing scenery and walks. It is a great asset and attracts many visitors to the area. It is a pleasure to be able to work with local land owners and land managers to preserve the South West Coast Path so that it can continue to be enjoyed now and in the future.

During October the countryside team is planning a Ranger Day where all of the countryside rangers will work together on the path at Budleigh and replace some sections of board walk and install new steps.

Cllr Tom Wright, East Devon District Council's portfolio holder for the environment, said:

The countryside team maintain ten nature reserves as well as sections of the South West Coast Path so that local people and visitors can enjoy and benefit from time spent in East Devon’s outstanding environment. The coast path is hugely important to the local economy and the countryside team’s work throughout the year ensures it is a safe environment.

The Sidmouth Walking Festival takes place from Saturday September 23  to Saturday September 29 with a week of planned walks for all ages and abilities. For more information on the festival visit facebook.com/sidmouthwalkingfestival/ or visitsidmouth.co.uk