Latest News

April 2024

River Gipping Trust – Restoration News-sheet, Edition 5 –  Winter 2024

We are pleased to announce the latest issue of the Restoration News-sheet for Winter 2024 is available for you to download from this link.

The Trust offers presentations to community groups about the history of the River Gipping.  These are very popular and well received.  If your Group would be interested in having a presentation  Download details from this link

September 2023

River Gipping Trust – Restoration News-sheet, Edition 4 –  Autumn 2023

We are pleased to announce the latest issue of the Restoration News-sheet for Autumn 2023 is available for you to download from this link.

May 2023

River Gipping Trust – Official Opening of Footbridge at Baylham

It was a glorious summer’s day on Saturday 20 May 2023 for the River Gipping Trust and a crowd of 75 as they watched the guest of honour, local MP Dr Dan Poulter, cut the red ribbon to declare the new footbridge at Baylham officially open.

A trusty band of volunteers has turned up every week in all weathers over the last three years to prepare the footpath and install a wheelchair compatible bridge. New sloping ramps on each side lead up to rebuilt walls that support the span of the bridge. We walked from Mill Lane to the new bridge alongside the river on a path cleared of overgrowth by volunteers who have also installed new fencing, gates and signage. Plenty of dragonflies and a pike lurking in the reeds reminded us of the beauty of the Suffolk countryside.

The Chair of the Trust, John Warren presented Dan Poulter with a copy of the Trust’s new book about the history of the Gipping and congratulated the Trust volunteers. He said “the original 15 locks allowed 60ft barges to carry maritime cargoes from Ipswich docks to Stowmarket. This was in the middle of the “canal mania” of 1790-1793, when the new network transformed commercial transport. The “Navigation” on the Gipping was completed, including new Acts of Parliament, in about two years with new brick and cement technology all without the aid of modern machinery. This ‘can do’ attitude of the past was reflected in the current attitude of the Trust’s volunteers who he described as ‘an inspiration and a joy to work with’.”

The restoration has been managed by Ian Petchey who spoke about the challenges and how the original bridge was reported to be at the bottom of the river in 1943. About 1000 old bricks were cleaned by hand and recycled in the build. The installation was without the help of any external contractors or additional machinery. The original engineer, one of the heroes of his time, was John Rennie, who went on to build lighthouses, docks and a new London Bridge.

Dan Poulter MP congratulated the Trust and said how much he has always appreciated the importance of the river to his constituency. After he cut the tape the volunteers received a round of applause, three cheers and we retired to the marquee for refreshment. Dr Poulter stayed for discussion and heard more about the river, including views on current topics such as pollution and the frustrating official four-year closure of the next footbridge upstream at Creeting.     

April 2023

River Gipping Trust – Naming Dedication Ceremony – Footbridge at Baylham

On Sunday 30 April 2023 Trustees were joined by Les Howard’s family and a few volunteers to dedicate the completion of the new footbridge at Baylham to Les Howard.  Les had been integral to the project and the Trust.   It was a pleasant, albeit emotional, occasion to reflect back on some of the work Les did for the River Gipping Trust.


River Gipping Trust – Restoration News-sheet, Edition 3 – Spring 2023

We are pleased to announce the latest issue of the Restoration News-sheet for Spring 2023 is available for you to download from this link.

February 2023

River Gipping Trust – Newsletter, Winter 2022

We are pleased to share with you the latest issue of the River Gipping Trust Newsletter for Winter 2022. You can download the Newsletter from this link.

December 2022


Following publication of our book “The Ipswich to Stowmarket Navigation – John Rennie’s First Canal Project” by Ian Petchey, we are pleased to share with you some reviews we have received from the Institution of Civil Engineers, Paul Scully, Suffolk Industrial Archaeology Society and The Ipswich Society.  You can download the reviews from this link.

October 2022

11 Circular Walks from Needham Market by Derek Magnall

Needham Market Walks (CIO) has produced a free booklet with a collection of 11 circular walks from Needham Market of varying distances from 2 miles to 9 miles.  The booklet has comprehensive directions, diagrams and photographs.  You can download the booklet from this link.

Popular stretch of riverside path in Stowmarket upgraded

A popular riverside dog-walking spot in Stowmarket has been upgraded using cash from a developer.  A section of the Gipping Valley Path, next to the Cedars Maltings site of Muntons, has been upgraded to improve public access along the river as well as increase plant life and wildlife.  The improved footpath – which includes a new surface and two-metre-high fence alongside the boundary of the maltings – has been paid for by Gateway 14 and Muntons.

The path is part of a 17-mile Gipping Valley River path which runs from Stowmarket railway station to Ipswich, where it meets the River Orwell.  Construction director at Jaynic – who managed the upgrade – Jason Newman, said: “These improvements are making a positive contribution to the local area and community.  “Walking offers numerous health benefits to people of all ages and fitness levels, and this path is an excellent amenity for Stowmarket.”  –  East Anglian Daily Times – 1 October 2022

August 2022

Where can I fish along the Gipping?

With help from GAPS (Gipping Angling Preservation Society), we have put together a map and guide of where it is possible to fish along the River Gipping.

River Gipping Trust – NEW Publication

The River Gipping Trust has recently published a book “The Ipswich to Stowmarket Navigation – John Rennie’s First Canal Project.  Written by Ian Petchey, Restoration Manager, in conjunction with the River Gipping Trust, this is a handy companion for the riverside walk between Ipswich and Stowmarket.

The history of the river from Roman times is well described and with excellent maps, pictures and photographs.  The bridges, mills, industry and people of the river are carefully researched and documented.  Stories include the 1,000 works of art at Baylham Mill; one painting from 1625-6, found under a sack, is now in the Israel Museum and valued at over £12m.

You can download a summary of the contents of each chapter from this link.  

Now also available from Needham Market Post Office, the Food Museum at Stowmarket and Anything Suffolk

July 2022

Creeting Footbridge – Extended Closure

The Creeting footbridge, that has been closed for 18 months now has a new extended closure date of 23 July 2023. Another year! A closure notice posted at Pipps Ford says the footpath from Pipps Ford to Needham Market is closed, with the diversion in place along the B113 road, a busy road mostly without a path.

River Gipping Trust – Restoration News – Edition 2 – Summer 2022

We are pleased to announce the latest issue of the Restoration News Sheet for Summer 2022 available for you to download from this link.

March 2022

River Gipping Trust – Newsletter, Spring 2022

We are pleased to announce the latest issue of the River Gipping Trust Newsletter for Spring 2022 which is available for you to download from this link.

December  2021

Trust volunteers planted over 300 trees this month, making around 700 trees planted by the Trust over the last two years!

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the Trust volunteers who have committed to the working parties when they can on Wednesdays during 2021.  Without their efforts we would not have been able to carry out the ongoing maintenance work along the path by removing overhanging branches and keeping the grass and weeds cut back as well as erecting the bridge across the river at Baylham.

There will not be a working party for the next two weeks but we look forward to seeing you all again, hopefully on Wednesday 5 January 2022 (Covid permitting).

November 2021

Trust volunteers have now completed the wooden footbridge platform and the restoration of the 230 year old brick abutments that the platform sits on over the River Gipping, just above Baylham, but it is not open yet to walkers.

Volunteers are now working hard on developing a safe means of accessing the footbridge; this will involve some temporary steps up to the footbridge platform.  We are hoping to have these temporary measures in place over the coming weeks, enabling the permissive path and footbridge to be open to walkers towards the end of the year/early January, with the intent of having a grand opening in the Spring, hopefully with local media coverage and supporters.  We then hope to open the permissive path as an ‘accessible to all’ path suitable for appropriate wheelchairs, mobility scooters and baby buggies.

October 2021

Sewage Discharge into Rivers

We have been advised that in mid-September the Environment Bill was passed in the House of Lords which includes Amendment 60 to clause 80 which will place a duty on sewerage undertakers to take reasonable steps to ensure untreated sewage is not discharged from storm overflows, and demonstrate improvements in the sewerage systems.

This is the British Canoeing view

The State of Our Rivers Report  published by The Essex and Suffolk Rivers Trust allows the English public to understand the health of their river like never before, on both a national and local scale. The report gives one clear message: the race to climate resilience will be won or lost on rivers – and we are currently losing.  The report shows that:

  • Agriculture contributes towards nearly two-thirds of rivers failing to meet good status; the water sector over a half, and the urban and transport sector a quarter.
  • With no significant improvements in the last 5 years our rivers are flatlining – we need a radical rethink for rivers.
  • Nature holds the key – we need real investment in nature-based solutions, at scale.
  • Government must act more boldly, but business and local partnerships are critical to the solution too.