Fisherman’s Bank, part of the winter route for the Southbourne-Mudeford section of the coast path, has been designated as open access land under the new Countryside and Rights of Way Act.
This means that walkers on Stanpit waterside are not restricted to the footpath but can stand anywhere on the Bank and even stop for a picnic on the grass.
The designation comes after a long campaign of nearly half a century by Mudeford fisherman Mike Parker who has maintained that this stretch of Christchurch harbourside is a common registered when the land was within Hampshire.
“People think because they have bought adjacent property that they own the land down to the water and they have put up fences and signs to stop other people going there,” says Mr Parker who has had the backing of Stanpit and Mudeford Residents Association.
The Association is calling for clear waymarking at each end.