Executive Summary
Make your own book

THEME 1 New Opportunities for Rural and Peripheral Areas
Canal Link
North SEAfaring
CO 2

The North Sea Coastal Path
Project Aim

The NAVE NORTRAIL project contributed towards the sustainable economic and social regeneration of the North Sea Coastal Region. The basic idea was to regenerate a network of landscapes and footpaths linked with nature and heritage sites in the recreational areas of the coastal regions around the North Sea. In relation with cultural and environmental tourism, outdoor activities and education the project aimed to foster local employment in declining areas and raise awareness and interest for the natural assets in the North Sea Region.

Project implementation and results

The major outcome of the NAVE NORTRAIL project is the North Sea Trail (NST), established as a common brand, covering 5100 km of finalised trail in 26 partner regions within 7 countries.
In addition, the project has operated two heritage networks along the trail: OxTrails and the Lighthouse network. As a result, the NST is much more than a walking trail, revealing the natural and cultural heritage along the trail.

Another main outcome is the North Sea Trail website with more than 1300 standardised nature and heritage articles which could never been achieved without a joint coordination and agreement.

Joint transnational strategy

Mode of cooperation
Transnational co-operation was crucial for the development and branding of the North Sea Trail. Without this form of cooperation, it would not have been possible to establish a joint North Sea Trail from the many different coastal trails with local names.

Impact of the project

Long-term achievements and policy shaping
The Nortrail partners have experienced difficulties to plan and implement the trail in certain areas. The issue of public access to the coastal zone has been highlighted and may influence further national legislation regarding the Outdoor Access Code. UK and Denmark are looking to Norway and Sweden regarding their legislation. The planning legislation may also be influenced regarding better procedures for acquiring landowner agreement to trespass private land.

The trail is still not continuous, but the partners are striving to fill the gaps of the trail even after the closure of the project. Primarily the partners are planning to enhance the possibilities to generate more activities and provide more services along the trail especially in the rural areas – creating better job opportunities. A supporter North Sea Trail Association is founded to maintain the trail and knowledge platform/website and monitor activities like the established common trans-national Day where all partners are using the main output of the project the North Sea Trail itself. This event will become an annual event also after the closure of the project.

North Sea Coastal Path


Århus County Council, DK
North Jutland County Council, DK
Ribe Amt, DK
Ringkjøbing County Council, DK
South Jutland County Council, DK
Central Denmark Region, DK
Storstrøms Amt, DK
Amt Karrharde, DE
Hordaland Fylkeskommune, NO
Møre and Romsdal Fylkeskommune, NO
Sogn and Fjordane County Council, NO
Rogaland County Council, NO
Vestfold County, NO
Vest-Agder Fylkeskommune, NO
Østfold Fylkeskommune, NO
Halland (Landstinget & Länsstyrelsen), SE
Västra Götalands Region, SE
Vellinge Municipality, SE
Province of Fryslân, NL
Fife Council, UK
Aberdeen City Council, UK
North York Moors, UK
Northumberland County Council, UK
Moray Firth Partnership, UK
East Lothian Council, UK

Aberdeenshire Council

Project Manager

Coral Duthie
Aberdeenshire Council Gordon House, Blackhall Road
AB51 3WA Inverurie
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 1467 628 224

Measure: 3.2

Start Date: 01 October 2002
End Date: 30 April 2007

ERDF Grant:
Total Eligible Sum:
The North Sea
Region Programme Secretariat
Jernbanegade 22, DK-8800 Viborg, DENMARK
Tel.: +45 8728 8070 | Fax: +45 8660 1680
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