Coast path closed between Holme and Thornham
A 470-metre section of the Norfolk Coast Path needs to be temporarily closed with immediate effect along Holme Footpath 1 (FP1), between the Norfolk Ornithologists Association (NOA) observatory and Thornham.
Norfolk County Council said today: "We have been monitoring the condition of the boardwalk, which is now in need of repair as it poses a health and safety risk.
"However, the boardwalk replacement work that was scheduled cannot be carried out until the end of the hibernation period of the natterjack toad which is a European protected species (EPS).
"The boardwalk replacement work can only start after further ecological site checks and an updated natterjack survey has been carried out.
"After the toad survey is completed we will be applying for an EPS licence to carry out the construction works and so we anticipate that work will begin May-June 2022.
"In advance of the works and before bird nesting season starts a vegetation cut back will carried out either side of the boardwalk to prepare the site for the boardwalk replacement."
Once work is able to commence, it is expected to take eight weeks to complete, weather permitting. Due to the nature of the work, it will be necessary for the path to remain closed while work is under way.
The work will involve replacing the existing boardwalk and increasing the path width to 1.5m wide. Passing places will also be installed along the boardwalk.
The result will be a safer and more accessible route for people walking along the Norfolk Coast Path. It will also improve the long-term resilience of the path and minimise the long-term maintenance requirements of this section. It will conserve wildlife along the route by providing an easy path through the dunes, reducing dune erosion and disturbance of nesting birds and other species by walkers.
While this section of the coast path is temporarily closed there will be an inland diversion in place along footpaths, quiet roads, and a short section of pavement through Thornham. Please see diversion map below. Norfolk Wildlife Trust facilities and the NOA observatory will still be accessible from the west end of the Coast Path at all times.
The county council thanked people for their patience while this work is carried out.
The work, which will cost £150,000, will be carried out by the county council’s community and environmental services department and their contractors.