Sat-nav trials and Duke Of Edinburgh hazards

Without sounding too Luddite we are now enjoying open season on the lost and frazzled.

For many visitors to the Suffolk Heritage Coast the fact that sat-nav often does not work is almost as annoying as the derisory level of mobile telephone service. For young people on their Duke of Edinburgh expeditions, having to use a paper OS map and if necessary find a fast disappearing public telephone box, reduces many of Britain’s Best to speechlessness. Certainly when found on the farm well and truly lost and strayed from the footpath on their maps, some people can become positively mute and rather coy about any “Right to Roam”. Tony Blair’s campaign for open access failed for fenced farmland but it remains alarmingly alive in the minds of some, and finding members of the public completely unaware of where they are is especially dangerous in livestock country. Farming near a coastal location where there is a widely held belief that the beach comes for free, the need to get the access balance right is fraught with hazard.

We are lucky at Chillesford Lodge, we only have one footpath and it is well signed. Our inland beach is private, a huge sandpit of crag with a thirty foot cliff packed out with sand martins and kingfisher nests. Rather like the 2,400 traditional red telephone boxes listed grade II and spared from dereliction, Chillesford Lodge is a growing community hidden in the heart of Suffolk’s Heritage Coast – Not lost at all to those lucky people who get to know about it.