Environment Minister, Jane Davidson was in West Wales to officially open the latest stretch of the Wales Coast Path. This part of the pathway may be less than a kilometre (0.83km or half a mile) but it links the Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail with the Ceredigion Coast Path.
Once this link path is open, the 250 mile (400km) path will run from Amroth, east of Tenby in Pembrokeshire to Ynyslas, north of Aberystwyth in Ceredigion.
The Welsh Assembly Government is committed to establishing a continuous 850 mile path that runs around the coastline of Wales by summer 2012. The project is on schedule, with sections opening regularly.
Speaking about the new section of the path, the Minister said;
“I am delighted to open this important link path to enable people to enjoy 250 uninterrupted miles of beautiful scenery. Last year National Geographic voted Pembrokeshire the second best coastal destination in the world and I encourage everyone to come and explore this wonderful part of Wales.”
“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.
“However the Wales Coast Path is more than just a tourist attraction. I hope that local people will make the most of opportunities to enjoy the scenery while walking along the path and that it will encourage people to live more active and healthy lives, in line with the Assembly Government’s Change4Life programme.”
Leader of Ceredigion County Council, Councillor Keith Evans, said:
“Ceredigion has a spectacular coastline and the opening of the Ceredigion Coast Path in 2008 has put the area firmly on the walking map. 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. The development of the Cardigan and St Dogmaels path not only provides a link between these two communities but presents an important stage in the development of the Wales Coast Path.
Leader of Pembrokeshire County Council, Councillor John Davies, said:
"This is a red letter day not only for walkers and ramblers but indeed for all those who enjoy our beautiful countryside.
“The linking by footpath of Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion is the result of close partnership working between a number of organisations and bodies on both sides of the border and here in St Dogmaels. They can congratulate themselves on a job well done."
Access Programmes Manager, Sue Rice of The Countryside Council for Wales, who manage the project said:
"We are delighted with Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire's Councils and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority commitment to this project. Local people and visitors are now able to walk all the way from Pendine Sands to Ynys Las along the west coast, the views are truly breathtaking."
Under the Coastal Access Improvement Programme (CAIP), The Welsh Assembly Government is committed to creating a continuous 850 mile path that runs right around the coastline of Wales by 2012, and has been investing in access improvements in partnership with the Countryside Council for Wales. CAIP funding of £2 million per year has since 2009 been backed by the European Regional Development Fund which totals £3.9m over 3 years, to support development of the Coast Path by 2012.