All-Wales coast path moves a step closer at St Dogmaels

Cardigan Bay The new path links Amroth, east of Tenby, to Ynyslas, north of Aberystwyth

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A big step towards an all-Wales coastal footpath takes place with the opening of a new half mile route (0.8km) linking a 250-mile section (400km).

Environment Minister Jane Davidson was performing the opening on Monday, linking Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion coastal paths at St Dogmaels.

The assembly government wants to establish an 850 mile path (1,367km) running around Wales by summer 2012.

The new path links Amroth, near Tenby, to Ynyslas, north of Aberystwyth.

Mrs Davidson said: "I am confident that the coast path will attract more visitors to this stunning coastline and in doing so will provide a real boost to the local economy."

Ceredigion council leader, Keith Evans, said the opening of Ceredigion Coast Path in 2008 put the area "firmly on the walking map".

Objections

"The number of walkers along the coast is increasing and the path is a major asset that is helping to sustain and regenerate the economy of Ceredigion," he said.

Under the Coastal Access Improvement Programme (CAIP), the assembly government has been investing £2m a year since 2009 in the path, backed by £3.9m from the European Regional Development Fund.

The new link, along with developments elsewhere along the Ceredigion Coast Path, has been achieved with the support and co-operation of local landowners, says WAG, although there some objections in 2007 with farmers concerned about losing land to paths running through their fields.

CAIP funds have been used to develop a cliff-top trail at Aberporth and other path improvements on the coast and along the Dyfi Valley.

The official opening takes place at the site of a new footbridge which includes a double sleeper boardwalk and additional gates and stiles on the Pembrokeshire side.

Mrs Davidson said: "We know that the Pembrokeshire Coast National Trail brings in thousands of visitors every year and over £14m extra to the local economy.

"We know that the new Ceredigion coastal path is bringing in 67,000 visitors to the Ceredigion coast and what was missing was an off-road footpath that linked the two trails.

"We're trying to create a fantastic experience here in Wales that will really attract many, many foreign visitors as well as everybody in every home in Wales," she told BBC Radio Wales.

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