SOUTHEND’S “beautiful coastline” will be opened to the public even further as exciting plans were unveiled yesterday for a huge walking route.

A host of proposals aim to improve access along the 39-mile stretch of coast between Southend and Wallasea Island.

The route stretches from the iconic seafront, through Rochford and onto Wallasea Island.

Part of the route is already open to the public, but the proposed path adds eight miles - including the Wallasea Island wild coast project.

If approved, it will become part of the England Coast Path - a 2,700-mile walking route being developed by Natural England.

Rachel Fancy, RSPB warden at Wallasea Island, said: “It is really good that Wallasea Island will be part of the Coastal Path route.

“It is a great opportunity to see the big skies and the big sea of Wallasea, plus all the fantastic wildlife on offer.

“Visitors can see the birds, the seals on the seafront, the water voles and everything else going on.”

The Wallasea Island wild coast project consists of marshland and lagoons, where the RSPB is creating a nature reserve to provide an area twice the size of the City of London.

The proposed route starts at Essex Wildlife Trust’s Gunners Park reserve - offering views across the Thames Estuary.

Walkers will then venture to Shoebury, with the proposed walkway passing through the ancient Danish Camp site and the former Shoebury Garrison.

Heading north of Great Wakering, the path will offer walkers views across low lying coastal islands with extensive ancient grazing marsh, saltmarsh and mudflats.

The route then heads to Wallasea Island, where walkers will have views of Burnham’s Georgian waterfront building and the early 20th century modernist home at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club.

Kevin Robinson, cabinet member for business, culture and tourism, said: “I think these proposals are a fantastic opportunity for residents and visitors to see more of Southend’s beautiful coastline.”

An eight-week consultation on the proposed route will now until December 11. Anyone may make representations to Natural England.

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