Partners celebrate new Brambles Chine steps

Published: 6 June 2023

The new beach steps at Brambles Chine

Visitors to Brambles Chine can now safely descend the steep cliff face without the need to take a time-consuming detour.

New wooden steps have been built to provide access to the popular West Wight beach after the original private slipway had to be closed in February last year due to safety concerns.

Years of erosion from high tides and storm damage had undermined the slipway structure, causing its sides to break apart and its concrete top to crack.

As a footpath valued by many local residents, visitors and users of the Isle of Wight coastal path, the Isle of Wight Council looked into the best way to create a longer term solution to providing beach access at this location. 

The owner of the slipway gave their support to the project.

Colwell Bay is very important for its natural environment and in particular its wildlife and geology. There are many designations in the area to protect these.

Permissions and licences were sought from the national bodies responsible for managing these sites. 

Details of both the works themselves and also access to the site by the machines across the beach from the slipway at Colwell at low tide were needed. 

This was a long process and the council was aware, from the many calls and emails about the beach access it was getting, just how important and missed it was.

In the future, the beach access here will be part of the route for the King Charles III England Coast Path, a new National Trail being created in stages around the whole of the coastline of England.

John Brownscombe, the council's Coastal Path Officer, said: "We were very fortunate that Natural England, the government body leading on the delivery of the new trail, were able to provide us with grant funding for preparatory works to demolish the unsafe slipway and complete groundworks for new steps.

"These works were completed by Reynolds and Read and we could then look to install new wooden flights of steps to the beach for Public Footpath F13.

"Throughout the project, we had been keeping people in the local area informed through regular updates including the members of Linstone Chine Holiday Village through their Management Company and we are grateful for their patience and support.”

Through this partnership approach, and with the generous financial contribution by the Linstone Chine Management Company as sponsors of the building of the new steps completed by Faithfull Quality Timber, finally, just before Easter, the path reopened and people could once again enjoy the beautiful beach and walk to and from Colwell Bay.

On May 23, representatives from the organisations involved in delivering and supporting this project met on site to reveal a new sign at the top of the steps commemorating the project.

Image shows:

(left to right) Craig Baughan, Plant and Groundworks Manager, from Reynolds and Read; Owen Prigmore, Plant Operator, from Reynolds and Read; John Brownscombe, Coastal Path Officer, from the Isle of Wight Council; Darrel Clarke, Rights of Way Manager, from Isle of Wight Council; Peter Faithfull, from Faithfull Quality Timber; Chloé Walker-Panse, England Coast Path Lead Adviser – Isle of Wight from Natural England; Carol Alstrom, Director from Linstone Chine Management Company.