New access ramp will allow more people to dip their toes in the sea

Low tide at Chit Rocks exposing the rock revetment and the sandy beach.

Chit Rocks at the western end of Sidmouth seafront - Credit: Dave Rafferty

An exciting new project has been launched to design and build an access ramp at Chit Rocks on Sidmouth seafront. 
Dave Rafferty, who is organising the project, said: “This summer we experienced first hand, as grandparents, the difficulties of getting onto the sandy beach with pushchairs and toddlers in tow. 
“We are lucky to be fit and active but nonetheless struggled with the pebbled beach and steep steps. After talking with others who were experiencing the same problem we realised this could be easily overcome with a ramp at Chit Rocks. It would allow frail elderly people and anyone with mobility problems to once again walk on the sand and dip their toes in the sea. 
“The Town and District council were approached for initial advice and, with support given in principle, the project launched earlier this month. A Facebook page and GoFundMe appeal were set up to start raising funds and awareness. The next stage would have been to set up a committee and bank account but Sidmouth Coastal Community Hub kindly agreed to host this project and provide the necessary oversight and banking facilities’’

The stony part of the beach meets the sand with families enjoying the beach and sea in the distance.

New access ramp will allow people to easily get to the sandy part of the beach - Credit: Dave Rafferty

Things took a great leap forward recently when NPS South West Ltd agreed to support the project. The company’s spokesperson said: “NPS South West are delighted to support this local initiative and be part of an exciting project to provide a permanent ramp directly onto Chit Rocks sands, providing access for many people who currently struggle or are unable to access and enjoy this lovely beach.” 
This now means that the survey and design work can start straight away as this will be funded directly by NPS. 
Donations have now started to come in and Devon County Councillor Stuart Hughes has agreed to support the project and has allocated £1,000 from his locality budget. 
“But there is still a long way to go to raise enough funds for construction costs,” said Dave. “So if anyone would like to donate or support in any way please get in touch,” he added. 
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