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Despite having lived in Somerset for more than 30 years I am ashamed to say there are still many stunning parts of it I have yet to explore. One that fell into that category until recently was Lilstock which is a real gem. I am even more red faced to admit that I only discovered it because it is on the route of the newly opened stretch of the England Coast Path and I was curious.

When it opened it was 58 miles long - going from Minehead to Brean Down - but the intention is to continue up to Portishead in due course. When complete, the England Coast Path (ECP) will be the longest managed and waymarked coastal path in the world and we have our own little bit of it here in Somerset.

Already, in an exciting development this month, an eight mile cycle and walking track has opened linking Brean to Weston-Super-Mare. It features an ingenious bird screen across the River Axe sluices designed to prevent disturbance of the huge numbers of birds, such as Redshanks, that nest there. I was thrilled to be invited to the opening of the Brean Down Way and join hordes of people who then walked and cycled back from the ceremony along the new path to the village.

To help promote the ECP, Sedgemoor District Council where I work, has been working with a range of partners on a campaign called #SecretSeaWalks. We have produced a wonderful video (see below) which is well worth a watch as well as a series of ten walks based on and around the coast.

The walks are all available to download from the Visit Somerset website and they have details on what to look out for on the way. I have sampled most of them and among my favourites are the ones round St Audries Bay with its incredible waterfall onto the beach, Lilstock with its amazing views and wildflowers and Steart for all the waders and wildlife.

Vicky Banham

Economic Development Officer

Sedgemoor District Council

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