The Yare Valley continues to be heavily used for healthy recreation, and it has become increasing important for people to spread around as much as possible to reduce wear on the paths and maintain social distancing. The number of hard copies of the Yare Valley Walk guide are now running low, although a few are still available by post. To encourage exploration of the less used paths and spaces in the valley network (e.g. Eaton Common), we have decided to make the Yare Valley Walk Guide available as a pdf document online.
Now in its third edition, the guide does need some updating, such as incorporating the Strawberry Field on Bluebell Road, and the “Bridge of Dreams” at Colney. Weare looking at ways in which this might be done. Please email us with any comments or suggestions you may have regarding updating.
More help to guide you along the main line of the Yare Valley Walk. Look out for the new signposts and way-marking posts that have appeared at key points. They carry the new symbol of a dragonfly to signify the walk.
The signs will help people follow the main line of the walk, but you will need to refer to the various guides that are available in order to find many of access points, and circular walks that connect with the main line.
The sign to “Cringleford Meadow” might be misleading. It gives the correct line of the walk, but the Walk remains firmly on the Norwich Bank of the River until the end of the University Broad, only then does it offer the option of crossing to the Cringleford bank for a short distance.
A striking array of flowers in parts of the Valley at this time, some obvious:
some more hidden away:
June Gentle, who sent in these photos writes:
“The Yare Valley has been of paramount importance to many people during this time of isolation and restrictions of movement.
I have met many people walking the valley to whom it has been a place of calm and peace, and have enjoyed the unfolding of nature in this lovely Spring weather.
We have watched the gold of dandelions give way to yellow buttercups and the deep blue of bluebells. Later the scent of the May trees and flashes of butterflies, dragonflies and damsels .
I met one couple carrying the YVS Walks Guide, telling me that they had just completed them all; and others who have been grateful to find such a landscape available to them in these difficult times.
We have come to realise, even more, how important the natural world is to us all, and how vital it is to safeguard it for the future.”
Tomorrow (Monday 1 June) sees some relaxing of the lock-down with the attendant dangers. Strict observance of social distancing continues to be of utmost importance. It is wonderful to see great use being made of the Yare Valley Green Corridor, and the benefit it has been to so many; but parts of the riverside walk are becoming crowded, and in places, social distancing can be difficult.
Many of us are avoiding the narrower paths, and turning instead to the wide open spaces of Marston Marsh, Eaton Common, Earlham Park and the Bowthorpe Marshes. Marston Marsh looks particularly lovely at this time, with an air of remoteness. There is plenty to see.
Eaton Common is missed by many. A circular walk allowing plenty of distancing space in most places. The walk includes a tranquil stretch of the river with passing places.
Bartram Mowers Ltd have submitted a revised set of plans for their site adjacent to the McCarthy and Stone development on the Bluebell Road (NR4 7LG). They include the demolition of existing buildings and erection of 32 bungalows, 21 apartments, a residents pavilion, access and ancillary development.
The Application Number is 19/00911/F. Much remains the same as the previous application for this site, and so most of the comments made on that application continue to apply to the present one. You can view the application using the Norwich Planning Public Access system available here. Comments to the City Council should be in by 24th March 2020.
A colourful and attractive information panel has appeared at the Bluebell Road gated entrance to the Strawberry Field. It shows how the paths in the field link with the newly resurfaced Yare Valley Walk beside the river, as well as providing other guidance.
Dog owners are asked to soften the impact of their dogs on the wildlife habitats, e.g. of water voles. A dog swim point is marked, and dog owners should restrict their dog’s swimming to this area only, and in all other places to keep dogs out of the river and ditches.
An addition that could be usefully made to display map would be to show the new (unsurfaced) path that runs along at the foot of the Cringleford fly-over embankment and links the south corner of the new McCarthy and Stone Daisy Hill Court development with the river walk. The approximate line of the path has been added in the photograph below as a thick dark red dotted line. More opportunities for circular walks!
Yare Valley Society is saying KEEP OUR VALLEY GREEN in a campaign to promote participation in the latest Local Government consultation on the Greater Norwich Local Plan. The consultation will run from the 29 January to the 16 March 2020. It will be available on line, but you can make a paper response if you wish. A number of CONSULTATION ROADSHOWS will take place. The Yare Valley Society has put up Posters on Noticeboards in the Yare Valley area to ask those who care for the valley to:
Say what you like, say what you don’t like in the
Visit a CONSULTATION ROADSHOW*
Question the intrusion of building development into the Yare Valley Green Space adjacent to Bluebell Road, Norwich. (Site GNLP 0133 – E)
*Consultation Roadshows local to the Yare Valley are at: Cringleford Willow Centre, Tuesday 4 February 2 – 8 pm Costessey Centre, 13 February 2 – 8 pm Norwich, The Forum, 26 February and 5 March 2 – 8 pm North Wymondham Community Centre, 14 February 2 – 8 pm
It has been a long-held dream in some quarters to create a bus link across the valley from the western end of Chancellors Drive at UEA to the Norwich Research Park. The realisation of such a route has been brought a step closer, by its possible inclusion in a County Council bid for money from a “Transforming Cities” government fund. It is seen as a way of improving public transport by shortening journey times.
The EDP of 12 November reports on a recent Norfolk Bus Forum meeting, at which Judith Lubbock, Liberal Democrat Norwich city councillor for Eaton, voiced concern about the link:
“It’s a very special place, the Yare Valley, and we try very hard to protect it. I think, for the very small amount of journey time you’d save by going across the Yare Valley, I cannot see the saving would be worth the destruction.”
You may have been wondering what has happened to the consultations on a new Greater Norwich Local Plan. Many of us put much effort in to responding to the earlier consultation on sites proposed for development. We were seriously concerned about the impact some of the proposed sites would have on wildlife and informal recreation in the Yare Valley. The completion and publication of a draft plan for submission to the next stage of public consultation was scheduled for September to October 2019.
It now seems that there are outstanding issues still to be resolved by the partner authorities: Norwich, Broadland, and South Norfolk district councils. The date now expected for the draft plan public consultation stage is now January – March 2020. You can find more information on the new Greater Norwich Plan here.
The “Strawberry Field” is between Bluebell Road and the river, near to the McCarthy and Stone housing development (previously the Bartram Mowers site).
After recent closures for works, the Riverside Walk below the Strawberry Field is now open with a much-improved surface, and the restoration and extension of a section of the boardwalk to create a link to a new path in the Strawberry Field.
Early in November, volunteers of Norwich Fringe Countryside Management Project will be installing interpretation boards and way marker signs for the new Strawberry Fields Open Space. Interested in volunteering to work in the Project? Details Fringe Project activities are on their website.
There is a continuing management programme for improving the meadow-land of the strawberry field.