Volunteer coast wardens wanted to help protect seaside locations

Surveying the Coast Path near Howick. Picture by Gavin Duthie
Surveying the Coast Path near Howick. Picture by Gavin Duthie

Walkers on the Northumberland coast are being asked to become voluntary wardens to help maintain their favourite sections of the Northumberland Coast Path and other walking routes.

Coast Care, the National Lottery-funded volunteering initiative on the Northumberland coast, is seeking walkers to step forward and help to look after the long-distance path and to keep any eye on rights of way in their area.

Iain Robson, from the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership, which manages the trail, said: “We want people who regularly walk a section of trail or paths in their area to help us keep them open and easy to use.

“This includes cutting back vegetation, picking up litter, replacing way markers and other simple maintenance.

“Walkers will be eyes and ears on the coast, reporting more serious issues to the path officers at Northumberland County Council.

“There will also be opportunities to join other wardens on bigger maintenance jobs.”

The path wardens will be fully trained and supported by Coast Care – the new volunteering initiative which is run by Northumberland Coast AONB Partnership, Northumberland Wildlife Trust and Seahouses Development Trust and supported thanks to money raised by National Lottery players through a grant of £522,600 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Ivor Crowther, head of the HLF in the North East said: “The Northumberland Coast Path attracts many walkers who come from across Europe and beyond to walk along the beautiful coastline. Thanks to National Lottery players, local people who are passionate about their favourite section of the trail can help to look after it for the benefit of us all.”

Volunteers will receive some basic training before being assigned a length of the trail to look after. Other volunteers are needed to monitor the wider rights of way network in their parishes.

If you are interested in becoming a Northumberland Coast Path warden or parish-path volunteer, visit www.coast-care.co.uk or send an email to info@coast-care.co.uk or call 07813 563047.