- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Categories: Blog, Feature
Saturday, 5 May marks the official opening of the All-Wales Coastal Path. I am delighted by this. This is not just because as a regional AM I represent most of the Welsh coastline.
My delight is more to do with my own commitment to walking. Wales is a wonderful country for walkers; the mountains, the hills, the valleys and the coast of Wales are treasures we should all be proud of.
By “all” I mean all those who live or work in urban Wales as well as those who live in rural Wales or near the sea. Carmarthen is fortunate in that it ticks all those boxes.
My delight is political, too, I have to admit. Last month marked the eightieth anniversary of the mass trespass of Kinder Scout in Derbyshire. The event has gone down in history as the time when walkers challenged the right of Britain’s landowners to refuse to let ordinary working men and women the right to walk across some of Britain’s most spectacular countryside.
I think the launch of a coastal path that goes round the whole of Wales that is lapped by the sea will come to be seen as one of the great achievements of the Welsh Assembly in its early days.
It is worth reminding ourselves that the post Second World War Labour Government was responsible for the creation of Britain’s National Parks. Creating the All-Wales Coastal Path is, in my opinion, potentially as important and as far-reaching as that.
Just as the Welsh Language belongs to us all whether or not we are native speakers or enthusiastic learners, so the glories of the Welsh landscape belong to us all wherever we live in Wales and whatever we do or have done in our working lives.
Saturday, 5th May 2012 should go down as one of the great days of Welsh history. It will be the day when the coast of Wales will not just mean a bucket and spade and a toffee apple and candy-floss and a resource that we grow out of. Most people know about the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path. How often do we sing the praises of the way from Swansea to Carmarthen? It is wonderful when viewed from the train; it is even better when enjoyed by the walker.