Gipping Valley Visitor Centre (Closed by Barham Parish Council 2012)
The Gipping Valley Visitor Centre used to form part of Barham Picnic Site. It is situated just off Pesthouse Lane in Barham, north of Ipswich (use these coordinates in your sat nav or GPS 52:7:7.865 N 1:5:54.372 E.) The whole site was originally owned by Suffolk County Council but around 2010 the Council decided to divest itself of virtually all the sites it owned. This particular one was handed over to Barham Parish Council. Claydon Football Club were hoping to convert the site into football pitches but as far as we can find out that is not likely to happen anytime soon.
In the meantime the actual Visitor Centre has been allowed to become totally derelict and the entire site has been fenced off.
The following message appears on the Barham Parish Council website –
30 Apr, 2012
The site is now permanently closed pending the transfer of ownership from Suffolk County Council to Barham Parish Council. The site will remain fenced off and secured until such time that plans by Claydon Football Club to convert the area into football pitches is underway. This will in no way affect the access to the public footpath, however, the car park will not be available as this is part of the whole site being fenced off.
Unfortunately Highways England have not seen fit to remove the large brown tourists signs on the A14 which suggest that the Visitor Centre still exists.
As the note from the Council indicates, the long distance footpath along the River Gipping is still open and you can download Trust footpath maps from our website.