NOVEMBER 2020 TRUST NEWS

In line with latest lockdown2 guidelines the trust have suspended all volunteer work parties along the river Gipping until at least 2nd December. Hopefully we will be back on Wednesday 9th December.

With recent significant financial support, the new footbridge over the river Gipping at Baylham is very close to becoming reality. The Trust is now just a few thousand pound short of being able to fully commit to building it and start installation work, which will be carried out by Trust volunteers. Our thanks of financial support go to Great Blakenham Parish Council, District Councillor Steve Phillips and Mike Norris of Needham Market Ward, Barham Parish Council, Stowmarket Lions, ASDA, Waitrose and The Co-Op.

Over the last couple of months we have received well over a dozen letters of support from parish councils and councillors, some of whom have indicated more immanent financial support. The new footbridge was also featured on a number of BBC Radio Suffolk new bulletins. The Trust will continue their funding efforts even after the bridge work starts in order to make the pathway to and from the bridge accessible to all. With the support already pledged, we have a very good chance of being able to open the bridge next year (2021), thus opening up nearly a mile of the river possibly not seen by walkers for around 100 years.

The Trust are continuing their behind the scenes work on making the river navigable between Needham Market and Baylham. We now have two recently completed pre-feasibility studies.

Both give positive navigation feasibility with a viable trip boat operation between Needham Lakes and  Baylham. The next step in this process is to carry out ecology and biodiversity studies along this 3 mile stretch which hopefully will indicate how navigation can improve the rivers wildlife and biodiversity. The trust are hoping to carry these studies next year with the help of the Inland Waterways Association.