The CPN is working alongside the Coastal Communities Alliance, Natural England, the National Coastal Tourism Academy (NCTA) and the New Economics Foundation (NEF) on a designated English Year of the Coast in 2021. The entire length of the English coast is about to be accessible for the first time through the implementation of a continuous and permanent public right of way - the new England Coast Path National Trail. This incredible new asset not only opens new access routes but will physically connect the coastal communities along its length from 2021 onwards.

As we come together to celebrate, the Year of the English Coast is a call to raise awareness of much needed solutions for our complex coastal challenges. The economies of coastal communities in England must urgently transform to benefit people and nature with more and better jobs, increased wellbeing and economic resilience, and a healthier coastal and marine environment. The aim is to support a programme of change that enables communities to work together to positively transform life at the coast.

The organisations and diverse coastal voices listed above have come together to collaborate and help the co-development of a series of activities to mark 2021 as the Year of the English Coast. Together we work in support of coastal communities demanding the change needed to enable them to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis and deliver a vision of prosperous communities and a healthier coastal and marine environment.

A year of celebration and positive action for change will raise awareness of solutions and demand the change that is still needed for even more positive action. Communities throughout England will be celebrating their coast and their coastal identity locally, as well as delivering collective action for national change. We will support their activities through coordinated media, aligned messaging and advocacy work to help amplify their voices.

The aims for the end of 2021 are as follows:

· Secure government commitment through different local and national agencies – pledges on key policy asks from coastal communities that can give them a reason to celebrate and help them work towards more resilient economies, more collaborative and collective action, healthier coastal and marine ecosystems and climate resilience.

· Help increase the accessibility of the coast to all communities – focused on increasing visits to the coast by children, especially those from deprived coastal communities and their families.

· Increase the number of visitors to the coast, particularly in the shoulder and off-peak period to build a more resilient and sustainable coastal tourism sector on which many areas depend

· Have stimulated new projects and initiatives that bring together a range of actors - local groups, businesses, visitors, government - to maintain and use the new England Coast Path as a catalyst to shape better coastal economies that prioritise people’s wellbeing, sustain our cultural and historic heritage, and recover and helps to look after our nature.


For a further information on the Year of the Coast 2021, please read our statement of intent.

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