Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Scottish coastline path

There is a BBC story about a plan proposed by an SNP MSP to build a coastal path that goes all the way along Scotland's coast.

Plans for a long-distance path around the nation's entire coastline are to be discussed in the Scottish Parliament.

South of Scotland MSP Alasdair Morgan said many coastal walks already existed and these could be joined together to form one route around the country.

He said the path could start near Gretna and follow the shoreline all the way round to near Berwick.

Mr Morgan said he believed the project would provide a valuable tourism boost for the nation as a whole.


He said: "I do not know how long it would take somebody to walk the entire distance.

"I am sure that, if marketed effectively, it would be a valuable way of attracting people who want to try something different and who enjoy seeing Scotland from a different perspective.

"That is not to say that people would attempt the entire distance, although I suspect it could be done in stages, in the same way as people climb the Munros."

I can certainly see the merits of the idea; Scotland certainly has some beautiful coastlines, publicising and making them more accessible is certainly something I can embrace. Added to that the idea of being able to walk to whole length of the coast appeals to me.

However there seem to be a lot of details that need to be ironed out. To pick obvious examples there's the cost, especially the cost of building and maintaining paths in the most inaccessible parts of the coast. There may also be environmental impacts on delicate ecosystems, the building of the path and foot traffic may be damaging to local wildlife.

If those problems can be overcome I will certainly welcome this new and easy way to explore the beautiful country in which I live.

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