Is the Bridge of Dreams the haunt of witches?

Jim Moore has been dreaming. He has published the first two books in his projected trilogy of children’s adventure fantasies of Princes and Witches in the Valley: “Radulf the Aetherling” and “The Valley Witches”.

Princes and Witches                                                                                                                      Jim Moore

Characters from the Valley wildlife feature in the books, and the action is set in  locations along the Valley: Earlham Park, University Broad, through Cringleford to Keswick Mill and finally Venta Icenorum where the spirit of Queen Boudicca puts in an appearance. Many of the locations can be walked by the reader.

Jim lives with his wife Sheila and four children in Bowthorpe. He campaigned over many years for the recognition and restoration of the ancient trackway from Bowthorpe to Colney to which the Bridge of Dreams restores a crossing of the river that was lost over 50 years ago.

Haunt of witches?                                                                                                                            Jim Moore

The books can be purchased via Facebook from Jim Moore at £10 plus p+p   or directly from his home address 49 Notykin Street Cloverhill l Bowthorpe Norwich NR5 9DN.  £1 from each book sold will be donated to Stillbirth and Neonatal Death charity (SANDS).

A reader’s review of either of the books can be sent to yarevalleysociety@gmail.com for inclusion on our website.

Goodwood Steps on Campus

 

Please do not touch

The latest addition to the Sainsbury Centre Sculpture has appeared on the UEA campus. The “Do not touch” signs are rather bizarre on a sculpture that looks so robust. Hopefully the signs and the fencing will disappear once the Steps are fully installed, and it will be possible to relate the sculpture better to its surroundings.

Steps and steps

The Sainsbury Centre comments: “Goodwood Steps is an impressive large-scale work which has been selected to compliment the UEA’s Brutalist architecture and sit within the natural environment of the campus”.

Something to ponder about on the Yare Valley Walk.

Brutalism to the fore

More about the Sculpture Park can be found at https://www.sainsburycentre.ac.uk/sculpture-park/

Slow Ways in the Valley

We all enjoy our slow ways in the Valley, but a new project involving large scale collaboration aims to create a national network of “Slow Ways”. “A Slow Way is a route for walking (or wheeling) between neighbouring cities, towns and villages, using a variety of existing paths, ways, trails and roads.”

Slow Ways from Norwich cross the Yare at Cringleford, Harford and Lakenham Bridges, but only one route, Norwich-Mulbarton, passes along part of the Valley.  It uses the Bridleway from the Mulbarton Road across to Keswick Mill, before turning south west to head past Keswick Hall, to picking up the Bridleway beside the Southern Bypass across to Intwood  Road.

Sainsbury Centre proposes new addition to Sculpture Park

Anthony Caro’s “Goodwood Steps” has been offered to the Sainsbury Centre on a three-year loan from the Anthony Caro studio.  The Sculpture is a large steel structure 33 metre long and 6.5 metre high. April 2021 is the projected installation date.

The intended site for the sculpture is on the open grass parkland beside the University Broad and facing the Ziggurats between Norfolk and Suffolk Terrace. “The placement of this work in proximity to the Lasdun buildings has been specifically selected to resonate and form a powerful echo or reflection of the Ziggurat architecture.”

The Planning Application for the Sculpture can be viewed on the Norwich Planning Website and searching under reference 21/00124/F. Any comments you have should be with Norwich Planning Department by 26th February 2021.

The Yare Valley Society has concerns about the intrusion of this large structure into the open green grassland space so close to the Broad.  YVS will ask for it to be positioned further away from the Broad and closer to the ziggurats.

 

The Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review: What is our green space worth?

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which is currently used to compare the wealth and growth of national economies is  increasing recognised as seriously flawed for this purpose. The blind spot in this measure is that it almost completely ignores the rate at which a nation’s natural resources are being depleted, and its biodiversity is being degraded. The Dasgupta Review, commissioned by the UK Treasury and published today argues, that better economic measures need to be in place to avoid catastrophe for our planet.

You will be relieved to know there is an abridged version of the report as well as the full report. Both are available here.

Water storage on Marston Marsh

What are the economic assets of the Yare Valley that might be more highly valued? The present flooding of the Valley shows its ability to store large quantities of water and so reduce flooding and damage downriver. Its vegetation also helps by slowing the rate of water run-off. At all times the Valley is a key wildlife corridor for flora and fauna; and its wetlands act as a carbon sink. To add to all this are the mental and physical health benefits its green space ecosystems confer upon us all (See p 24 of abridged version of review). This should surely add up to a tidy sum.

Covid19 takes up almost all the news space at the moment, and many important issues are not getting the attention they deserve. We all need to make the ideas in this review more widely known, and help to ensure that it is a real milestone on our way to a sustainable future. Safeguarding and extending our green space has economic value!

Next Phase of Local Plan Consultations

The Greater Norwich Local Plan will go forward for a six week Regulation 19 publication period, which will start at 09.00 on Monday 1 February 2021 and close at 17.00 on Monday 15 March 2021.  No representations will be accepted outside of this period. See Consultations.

Man of stones immersed in his landscape

Man of Stones emerges from the floods

After his survival from the floods the Man of Stones can truly be said to be immersed in his environment. He forms part of the University of East Anglia Sainsbury Centre’s Sculpture Park, and stands between the River and the University Broad. The River and the Broad became as one in the floods.

 

Safety concerns close UEA Mathematical Bridge

Fenced off

Routine safety checks of the Mathematical Bridge on the UEA Campus by a structural engineer has revealed that some of its foundations have been damaged by the recent flooding of the River Yare.

The UEA Estates & Facilities Division have decided to close the bridge until further notice for the safety of the public. Signage is being placed at various points entry points to the UEA Campus to warn of the closure. It hopes to put in other signage for a diversion, probably via the bridge at the end of Chancellors Drive.

The UEA Estates & Facilities Division says it is keenly aware of the importance of access to safe outdoor spaces at this time, and it hopes to resolve the the problem as quickly as possible.

Pollution persists in the River Yare

More than ten days after oil pollution in the river was first reported, and the Environmental Agency inserted booms at the believed point of entry of the pollution into the river, pollution of the river by what appears to be diesel oil continues. Today, 3rd January, the “smell of diesel” remains at the bridge at the bottom of Chancellor’s Drive and a continuous oil slick can be seen moving downstream. Eaton Village Residents Association (EVRA) report the pollution has reached as far downstream as Marston Marsh.

Danger for Ducks

Dog owners can act to avoid their dogs being contaminated, but no such protection can be afforded to the flora and fauna of the valley. The Oil Care Campaign publicises information on the impact of oil in rivers and provides advice on reducing its entry into the environment.

Please continue to report to the Environmental Agency the location of any pollution you see in the River, and so help stop the hazard continuing. The easiest way to do this is to use the Environmental Agency Incident Hotline 0800 80 70 60.

Yare Valley saves homes from Christmas flooding

Christmas Day: Stile to Marston Marsh

We have become used to the Yare Valley providing an attractive and varied green space for informal recreation during the Covid19 lockdowns, but at Christmas it assumed  another important role. It became a vast floodwater storage area holding back many cubic metres of water and in doing so greatly reduced the likelihood flooding of homes situated downstream.

Boxing Day: Boardwalk at bottom of Strawberry Field

The vegetation on the slopes of the valley also had its part to play in slowing down the rate at which the heavy rain entered the river.

Boxing Day: Path on south side of University Broad

As the effects of climate change and residential development continue to make flooding events ever more frequent, the need to protect and enhance the green space of the Yare Valley becomes ever more urgent.

Christmas Day: A change of view on Marston Marsh