One of the first of 1,000 new steps to be installed on the South West Coast was unveiled in Ilfracombe to thank supporters of a fund raising campaign to mark the 40th anniversary of the path.

The South West Coast Path Association (SWCPA) presented the specially engraved step to Forthglade, which was the first business to get behind the campaign.

The #40FOR40 campaign aims to raise £40,000 for essential maintenance of the 630 mile coast path’s steps, stiles, gates, bridges and signs.

The project has already raised £20,000 and aims to reach £40,000 by the end of October through a range of fundraising events which people to get involved in.

Forthglade’s donation has enabled the SWCPA to invest in 50 new oak steps, which will help make the path more accessible to walkers and dog walkers alike.

Joint managing director for Forthglade, Gerard Lovell said: “Everyone at Forthglade is thrilled to be helping to keep the path well maintained so that future generations can enjoy it.”

Ken Carter, chairman for the South West Coast Path Association said: “The South West Coast Path is such an important asset for the region. Not only does it give us a way to connect with our natural surroundings, it also supports thousands of jobs and drives the local economy.”

To find out more about Challenge month in October or to make a donation, visit www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk