ISLAND ramblers are celebrating following news the government has pledged to help create a path around the entire Isle of Wight coastline.
The announcement follows more than five years of campaigning by ramblers calling for the Island to be included in plans for an all-England coast path, which is currently being built.
The Island was originally left out of the plans when the Marine and Coastal Access Act was passed in 2009.
However, thanks to lobbying by the IW Ramblers and public support, the government has now decided to add a 70-mile footpath around the Island to the scheme.
David Howarth, the Isle of Wight Ramblers area chairman, said: "We’re thrilled by the government’s decision to include the Isle of Wight in the plan to open up the whole of the English coast and extremely grateful to the thousands of people on and off the Island who have supported our campaign.
"Creating a path around the entire Isle of Wight coast will allow residents and visitors to enjoy all the recreational activities the coast has to offer. Most importantly, people will be able to walk by the seaside without having to turn inland and walk on busy and dangerous roads.
"It also means for the first time around ten miles of the Island’s northern coast will be opened up for people to enjoy."
He added: "It is now critical that the Isle of Wight Council works with Natural England to take this exciting opportunity forward. Our volunteers will be working closely with them to help achieve this."