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Coast path riddle; MARK THOMAS TRUST THE POST.

WHEN is a footpath not a footpath? It's an issue that has troubled reader Muriel Young after reading Peter Elson's column in the Daily Post on Monday this week.

As part of its campaign to open up universal access to England's coastline, Natural England named and shamed parts of the coast between Liverpool and Southport as places where there is no legal access.

This was reported in Peter's column, much to the puzzlement of Mrs Young, who lives in Crosby close to the coast.

"Has he never heard of the Sefton Coastal Path?" she asks. "The south end starts in Waterloo near the old radar tower, and from there you can walk all the way on paths by the beach, pine woods etc for the 20 or so miles to Southport and a bit beyond. I reckon the access to our Sefton Coast couldn't be any better."

The Sefton Coast Path is indeed one of the glories of the great outdoors on Merseyside, and long may it stay that way.

Peter Elson for his part was getting his information from the map published by Natural England last week, which undoubtedly shows most of the Waterloo-Southport stretch of coast as not having a satisfactory, legally-secure path.

Those are their words, not ours. Reading the small print of the Natural England report, they define this as "either no path at all or a path with only permissive access or existing de facto use."

In other words there can still be a path, but the right to use it can possibly be less secure than Natural England would really want as part of its campaign to open up every bit of the coastline, and put it on a firm legal footing.

Elsewhere on Merseyside, areas of the coastline where pathways fall short of the Natural England criteria include the north Wirral stretch between New Brighton and Meols, and the Dee coast of the Wirral from West Kirby to Parkgate.

The end result is that Mrs Young and Peter Elson are both right in their different ways, and that Peter has been spared the Daily Post punishment of hiking from Waterloo to Southport wearing nothing but sackcloth and ashes.

TWO pictures of staff and students at the Liverpool Institute of Popular Music in the Daily Post on Tuesday were identified as being the Liverpool John Moores University.

The Institute is, of course, part of Liverpool University, as Vicky Anderson's story about its 21st anniversary stated correctly.

We apologise for the error and also for spelling film director Martin Scorsese's name incorrectly in the same a r ticle.
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 6, 2009
Words:433
Previous Article:THOUGHT for the DAY.
Next Article:Anne Collins; OBITUARY.


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