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.
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.
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.