Bridge over the River Gipping
Our current big project has been to replace the old bridge across the river that was originally used to transfer the towing path between Pipps Ford and Baylham from south west to north east. The path needed to cross over so the horse would be on the correct side to negotiate the lock further downstream at Baylham. The original bridge deck disappeared many years ago so when the new long distance footpath was created between Stowmarket and Ipswich in the 1970s it could not follow the route of the original towpath at this point but had to run alongside the railway line. The wooden footbridge platform itself is now completed Fortunately, we were able to use the original abutments subject to some restoration work.
The Trust has the permission of the current land owners for a permissive footpath that retraces the route of the old towpath. Trust volunteers have commenced work on developing safe and secure wheelchair friendly access to and from the footbridge platform. We are hoping to have this in place to enable the permissive path and footbridge to be open to walkers by the end of December 2022/early January 2023. A grand opening of the new bridge and footpath is planned for 2023.
Our intent by Spring is to have a permissive pathway leading to and from the footbridge in a condition suitable to be classed as ‘accessible to all’ which will include suitability for mobility scooters, wheelchairs and pushchairs. Our long-term aim is to make the footpath from Baylham to Needham Market accessible to all with no steps and wheelchair friendly slopes and inclines. This will take time and funds, and would very much welcome any financial support towards this work. Any money you can spare will go directly to this project. We are all volunteers so no large wage bills to pay or consultants to deal with. Click on the Donate button below to make your donation.
The Trust has received numerous contributions of financial support and letters of support from local parish councils, charities and other organisations, as well as personal donations directly towards the reinstatement of the footbridge just upstream of Baylham which have enabled us to complete the work.
|MSDC Locality Awards – various
||Supermarket Token Schemes
|Parish and Town Councils
– Great Blakenham
– Creeting St Mary
– The Geoffrey Burton Charitable Trust
– Stowmarket and District Lions Club
– Suffolk Local History Council
Further Parish and local support letters received from:
Kevin Thomas – Chairman Baylham Parish Meeting
“I would like to hereby express the support of Baylham Parish Meeting for this important local project. Through the completion of a new bridge and the subsequent redirection of the footpath, both visitors and the local population will derive a much enhanced experience of this delightful walk along the river.”
Barham Parish Council
“are delighted to support the River Gipping Trust.
Alasdair Ross Cllr – Rushmere Ward
“I fully support your aim to build a new bridge, it would be great to finish with a river walk with full access from Ipswich station to the source of the river, and your project is an important part of that aim.
Stowmarket and District Lions Club
“The Club agreed to donate £500 to help with your work on the footbridge near Baylham. Our discussion emphasised the respect for all of your efforts and the work you are all doing.”
Great Blakenham Parish Council
“Councillors unanimously agreed that they fully supported the project as it will greatly improve access to the riverside walk which a large number of local people use. Councillors agreed that they wish you well in your fundraising and as a tangible sign of support for the project, they unanimously agreed to make a donation of £1000.00 to the costs of the work”.
Creeting St Mary Parish Council
“council members are in support of the project” to reinstate the bridge upstream of Baylham.
Cllr Edward J J Phillips ACII, Ipswich Borough Councillor – Bixley Ward
“your project looks worthy and very exciting. Your project should make the area more accessible, especially for Ipswich residents who may not be aware of the secret and serene beauty of this part of the Gipping, where they can take advantage of the countryside so close to the town but feeling like it is a completely different world to relax in and breathe in fresh air.”
“We would like to show our support for the project. An improvement in footpaths here would be welcome. The paths are subject to water logging, uneven underfoot and rather close to the railway line. All three reasons cry out for any improvement on offer.”
The Trust also has 6 local Councils as members of the Trust
Needham Market Town Council
Great Blakenham Parish Council
Claydon & Whitton Parish Council
Litttle Blakenham Parish Council
Sproughton Parish Council
Creeting Parish Council