THE new 21-mile route of England Coast Path has been opened on Walney Island by Barrow mayor Kevin Hamilton yesterday.

The occasion was a hosted by West Point House where those involved took a walk along the path after the ribbon was cut.

Kevin Hamilton, Mayor of Barrow, said: "It’s brilliant, we’re one of 68 stages it will be nice for people to come to do the walk and spend time here.

"It’s an honour to cut the ribbon, and it is going to be the biggest continued route in the UK.

"There is a drone on Walney island which just shows the beauty of Walney island, it just looks wonderful from drone view."

South Walney Infants School students were in attendance to witness the ribbon cutting happen.

Nancy McKinney, headteacher at South Walney Infants, said: "It is very important for them, and this is our eco group who have come to witness this.

"It is important they know the local area and it is lovely to be invited to come down by Natural England."

Officials from Natural England also came to Walney to witness the historic occasion.

Neil Constable who is heading up this project for Natural England, said: "This will be the biggest coastal pathway, at 2700 miles in length this is the longest continuous in the world.

"This can bring, economic, social and health benefits to the area not only here but all over the country. And the legacy will be here forever."

Natural England is currently establishing a 2,700-mile path around the entire English coastline, with today’s stretch the 13th to open.

The path takes in the stunning North Walney National Nature Reserve (NNR), also running close to South Walney Nature Reserve, famous for its grey seals.

Helen Wall, south Walney councillor and spokesperson for wildlife, heritage and culture, said: "I think it is a brilliant thing for Walney as well as other locals.

"Never been able to walk all around the island before and it is important that people should as it is really special and unique place.

"I think think people will love this and people it will bring business, what is a walk without a coffee or a pint really.

"It is amazing around here and people should know it better."