Highcliffe huts: Sign the petition

The Friends of Highcliffe Beaches and Cliffs has a website.

Those worried about the proposed TV beach huts can sign petition on the site.

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TV beach huts at Highcliffe: The protest grows

Enjoy the walk between Highcliffe Castle and Chewton Bunny now.

By the autumn this lovely coast path cliff walk, starting at the bottom and then climbing to the top, will be pitted with very large ‘beach huts’.

They will be standing on concrete rafts.

The twelve overnight huts are being built offsite and will be installed for a TV programme. The area falls under Christchurch Council which is cooperating with the TV production company making the George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces programme.

The Council claims that planning permission is not required. However, it appears that Natural England was not made aware of the plan for the cliff which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

The hastily formed Friends of Highcliffe Beaches and Cliffs has launched a petition and attracted over sixty people to a meeting calling for the plan to be abandoned.

This weekend’s New Milton Advertiser carries a front page picture of last Tuesday’s demonstation when protestors sat on a paper outline of a concrete chalet base. Others held a banner reading “SAY NO TO HIGHCLIFFE BEACH RETREATS’.

Author and former CPRE patron Bill Bryson who loves the coast path, and once lived in Christchurch, is backing the protests.

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Flog It! at Highcliffe Castle

Flog It! on BBC1 comes from Highcliffe Castle on Thursday afternoon 19 May.

The broadcast starts at 4.30pm and the break in the middle promises a look around the castle’s salvage room.

Another Flog It! programme from the castle on Friday 27 May will include film from Bournemouth’s Russell-Cotes Art Gallery.

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Cliff fall: Coast Path stays open

East Overcliff Drive closed

East Overcliff Drive closed

A serious cliff fall on Bournemouth’s East Cliff on Sunday morning has damaged not only the cliff lift but also closed the nearby zigzag.

Now, as  precaution, the East Overcliff Drive has been closed to traffic.

The road is closed except for access from Bath Hill in the west (where the road is Russell Cotes Road) to the first junction with Manor Road in the east.

There is no vehicle movement at all between the Miramar Hotel and East Cliff Court.

However, the coast path route from Bournemouth Pier to Boscombe remains open.

What is now missing is access to the viewpoint above the cliff lift. This morning only engineers in hard hats were being allowed to look over the edge.

Engineers at viewpoint

Engineers at viewpoint

The engineers are carrying out tests over the coming days but the cliff lift and viewpoint are expected to remain closed for the rest of the year.

Meanwhile there are now calls for the entire cliff to be checked for signs of movement.

Path to cliff lift

Path to cliff lift

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TV beach hut threat to Highcliffe

A plan for twelve beach huts to be dotted along the cliff between Highcliffe Castle and Chewton Bunny comes as a surprise.

It is also causing concern.

The scheme is promoted by the Channel 4 programme George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces with support from Christchurch Council.

People are being asked to submit designs for an overnight hut by the end of the month with a view to the winning designs receiving £8,000 for building in the autumn.

Christchurch Council’s community and recreation team leader Matt Reeks says: “It will be the renaissance of Highcliffe.”

However, not surprisingly, many members of the community don’t agree and are alarmed by the suggestion that the huts will be ‘iconic’.

This is a stretch of rare natural cliff enjoyed by many locals and walkers.

But Will Daws of programme maker Plum Pictures claims that “it should bring joy to people in the area”.

A petition has been started asking the council to think again. Around 600 people have signed. The aim is to reach a thousand names.


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Best Places: Sandbanks and Southbourne

The Bournemouth Coast Path does well in The Times Great British Coast Guide.

Beach View in Southbourne Overcliff Drive is ranked fourth in the 12 Great Houses by the Sea feature. It’s the Poole Bay view that wins but it is also one of the few houses to have its garden running right up to the clifftop. The coast path passes the front door.

To the west, just over the border in Poole but still on the coast path, Rick Stein at Sandbanks is one of the 20 Best Places to Eat by the Sea.

“Floor-to-ceiling windows provide views over Poole Quay and Brownsea Island from the modern, understated, light and spacious dining room,” say the judges.

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John Keble 150th anniversary

Today, Easter Tuesday 2016, is the 150th anniversary of John Keble’s death in Bournemouth.

See Bournemouth’s Who Was Who blog

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Southbourne-Mudeford: Summer ferry route open

With BST starting at Easter there will be a daily ferry service across the Christchurch Harbour entrance from Hengistbury Head to Mudeford.

This is subject to weather conditions so check forecast this Easter weekend. If conditions are doubtful call 07968 334441.


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England Coast Path consultation dates

Natural England is working on plans for a long distance coastal walking route called the England Coast Path which is being established as a result of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009.

A number of drop-in sessions have been announced where members of the public will be able to meet the team to discuss how the route is developing from Chewton Bunny to Calshot.

This is an opportunity to give a view as a local resident, landowner and walker.

The project offers an exciting opportunity to improve the coast path between Chewton Bunny and Barton-on-Sea. East of Lymington, the path becomes the Solent Way where there are at present many more unsatisfactory diversions from the sea.

Sensitive solutions should be possible with goodwill and a sharing of local knowledge.


Wed 10 March
Beaulieu Village Hall
High St, Beaulieu SO42 7YA

Tue 15 March
Milford on Sea Village Community Centre, Sea Rd, SO41 0PH

Thu 17 March
Lymington Community Centre, New St, SO41 9BQ

Thu 21 April
New Milton Town Hall, BH25 6AS

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Pennington salt marshes on TV

Inside Out South on BBC1 has visited the Pennington Marshes and looked at salt boiling houses at Moses Dock.

It is the third item in the programme broadcast on Monday 22 February and available on iplayer for a month.

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