REPRESENTATIONS on the latest section of the England Coast Path are now being considered by the Government.

Ramblers will be able to enjoy a 39km walk from Harwich to Shotley, if the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs gives plans the greenlight.

Natural England lodged reports to the Secretary of State setting out plans on improving coastal access along a 24-mile stretch of coast between Harwich and Shotley Gate on January 22.

The route includes Harwich Harbour, Parkeston, Wrabness, Manningtree and Brantham before curving around the river Stour to the Suffolk side through Stutton, Harkstead and Shotley Gate.

The opportunity for the public to comment has now closed, but the reports can still be viewed online.

A statement on the Government's website said: "Objections are forwarded for consideration by an independent planning inspector appointed by the Secretary of State.

"The inspector will make recommendations to the Secretary of State in respect of each one.

"Natural England may not make any further changes to the reports as a result of the representations and objections, but will make comments about them for consideration by the Secretary of State and, in the case of objections, the appointed person (an inspector from the Planning Inspectorate)."

It said the Secretary of Stare will consider all the representations and objections before making a decision about Natural England's reports.

Some may get approval at the same time, others may need further consideration.

A Natural England spokesman said: "We, Natural England, are satisfied that our proposals to improve access to the English coast between Harwich and Shotley Gate are fully compatible with our duty to further the conservation and enhancement of the notified features of Stour Estuary and Stour and Copperas Woods."

Once approved and established, this part of the England Coast Path will be managed as part of the family of National Trails.