Welsh Government Minister, John Griffiths AM will open the Chepstow to Blackrock section of the Wales Coast Path in Chepstow on Monday, 19th September 2011. This 9.5km stretch leaves the historic town to meet the Severn Estuary, following the sea defence wall to Monmouthshire County Council’s picnic site at Blackrock, near Portskewett.
The official opening takes place at 11.30am at Chepstow’s bandstand on the banks of the Wye. Members of the public are welcome.
The Wales Coast Path starts near the Old Town Bridge, Chepstow and finishes 850 miles (1, 370 km) away at Queensferry in the north. Completion of the entire 850 miles is scheduled for May 2012.
Over the last four years Monmouthshire County Council has been making improvements to rights of way on or near to the coast with funding from the Welsh Government’s Coastal Access Improvement Programme administered by the Countryside Council for Wales. Crucial to the sustainability of the project are the voluntary coast path wardens who regularly check the path to keep it clear of vegetation and litter, report problems and undertake minor repair work.
Two stones bearing the coast path logo at Chepstow will mark the official start point. One is of local pennant sandstone donated by Forest of Dean Stone Firms Ltd and its partner is a piece of halkyn marble donated by Cemex and Flintshire CC. Similar stones will stand at Queensferry. In a joint project with Monmouthshire’s Countryside Access Team and adventa (Monmouthshire’s Rural development programme), an artist will be commissioned to enhance the area around the stones at Chepstow to create an iconic gateway to both the start of the Coast Path and its link to Offa’s Dyke Path National Trail.
Principal Countryside Access Officer Ruth Rourke said: “We are extremely grateful to the many businesses, landowners and individuals who have worked with us to achieve a Coast Path in Monmouthshire.”