The South West Coast Path was originally created by coastguards, patrolling the south west peninsula looking out for smugglers! The long distance National Trail covers 630 miles from Minehead in Somerset. The path includes the coastline of Exmouth, through Devon and into Cornwall, finishing in Poole Harbour (Dorset).
The coast path receives 8.6 million visits per year. It passes through a number of National Nature Reserves and Heritage Coasts, five Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, two World Heritage Sites, a UNESCO designated Biosphere reserve, a Geopark, and a National Park.
The East Devon section spans approximately 26 miles, and runs from Exmouth to Lyme Regis, forming part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.
The National Trust is a significant landowner along this stretch of coastline, and maintains the path on its own land. The remainder, which is in private ownership, is looked after by the East Devon District Council's Wild East Devon team on behalf of Devon County Council.
This includes the very popular walk along the river Otter in Budleigh Salterton, and the stunning Underhooken between Beer and Branscombe.
Work undertaken includes:
- Regular path clearing during the summer months
- Maintaining viewpoints
- Upgrading steps and gates
- Ensuring the route continues to be well signed
- Helping the South West Coast Path to retain its position as the UK's favourite walk.
More information on the whole path can be found on the South West Coast Path website.