Path upgrade for Cringleford Meadow

The path in Cringleford Meadow has long been muddy and difficult in times of bad weather. Both the path and the carpark are having their surfaces improved by laying compacted hardcore. The new all-weather path surface should make it easier to stay on the path and avoid trampling the vegetation in attempts to bypass the mud.

Present hard path end

The Meadow will be closed from Monday 16th May for 8 weeks. On site notices give the  diversion details. YVS understands the contractor will enable evening and weekend pedestrian access to the riverside path when and where safe to do so.

The full works comprise improvements to the path surface of the existing Yare Valley Walk alongside the river between Cringleford Meadow Car Park and the footbridge just north of the A11 flyover. The car park will also receive improvements with a gravel filled plastic grid system, similar to that at Danby Wood carpark, to regularise the surface and make the car park easier to use.

One of the alternative routes uses the not so widely known path alongside the flyover that was brought into being as part of the McCarthy and Stone development.

Spring on the Marsh

June Gentle

The river valley  has woken to Spring. A soft green haze over the trees has begun to appear.
Yellow gorse, dandelions, celandine and Marsh marigolds shine golden in the sun. Swans are nesting  and the birds are singing.  Butterflies are emerging now, and the marsh walks are being enjoyed by all.

Can you help with a green space survey?

An economics student at the University of East Anglia, as part of her dissertation, is investigating the usage of greenspace and parks in Norwich and how these are related to health outcomes and attitudes of Norwich residents.

“There is considerable evidence that usage of and access to green spaces can significantly improve health outcomes in the population. However, throughout the UK, studies have shown that green space is unequally distributed. There is limited research investigating the actual usage of green spaces and how it varies across different urban areas. I hope to help investigate this with my dissertation and see how changes could be made to benefit the Norwich population.”

You can help by responding to her survey here. The survey has been approved by UEA ethics committee, it does not collect identifying information, and data responses will be stored securely online to meet GDPR and will be destroyed after the project is completed.

McCarthy Stone  (Bluebell Road) Phase 3 Online Consultation

McCarthy Stone are carrying out a pre-planning application consultation for Phase 3 of their development on Bluebell Road. Unfortunately, the window for a response is very short, being barely a week, ending on Saturday 19th February.

The consultation is here.

Pre-application consultations are a valuable opportunity to influence the detail of an application prior to its submission. Once an application has been submitted for approval its details are more difficult to change.

Phase 1 of the development was for more than 60 residences which have already been occupied. Phase 2 of more than 40 residences already has planning approval, but has not yet been started. Phase 3 will be for over 100 residences in apartments and bungalows,  and should complete the development of the site. The Strawberry field has already been released as public green space, and more public green space will be released to the west of the residences as the development progresses. Marshland adjacent to the river will also be protected.

Please make a response to the application if you feel able. Some things you might think about with respect to the Valley are:

  • Protection of views from the Yare Valley including the Strawberry Field and other released green space. Some buildings are three storey.
  • Views from Bluebell Road through the development towards the valley.
  • Access to green space from the development and through the development from the Bluebell Road.
  • Layout and character of footpaths in green space.
  • How green space areas should be managed in the future.
  • Permeability of the development to wildlife
  • Is this density of housing and level of parking spaces appropriate for a development adjacent to the Yare Valley Green Infrastructure corridor?

Industry in the Yare Valley

A new Danby Wood display board casts light on the woods industrial past.

Danby Wood Display Board

From the late eighteenth century to the early part of the twentieth century Danby Wood was an industrial site for chalk and flint extraction and had limekilns burning chalk to form quicklime. The chalk and flint was extracted via an extensive network of tunnels that still exists. The tunnels are not open to the public, but some accounts of past explorations of the network are available on the web e.g. EDP article.

Danby Wood is one of five Norwich Local Nature Reserves in the Yare Valley. Details of the other nature reserves are on our Yare Valley Walk page.

Yare Valley celebrated in Eaton’s Knitted Blanket

More than 20 people of Eaton responded positively during lockdown by creating a work of art and sharing companionship through Zoom. The outcome was an embroidered quilt and a knitted blanket to show the good things that had been experienced, even in hard times. Quilt and blanket were assembled from squares created by individuals.

The embroidered quilt and the knitted blanket were exhibited in November 2021 with an audio-visual presentation of the thoughts behind the squares. The Yare Valley features as one of the good things experienced.

Kingfisher

 

More people going for walks and appreciating the natural world, a Kingfisher spotted beside the river Yare at Eaton Common

 

 

 

 

Walkers on Marston Marsh enjoyed the sight of a great variety of wild flowers

Rabbit Goddess appears

 

Rabbit Goddess

After several delays the intriguing Isagi Kannon or “Rabbit Goddess” by Leiko Ikemura has finally arrived in the Sainsbury Centre Sculpture Park at UEA.

“This hybrid, mythical bronze figure was created in response to the Tōhoku earthquake and Fukushima disaster of March 2011. Like the Buddhist divinity Bodhisattva Kannon, Ikemura’s ‘Rabbit Goddess’ emanates compassion and mercy”

 

 

Inside the Rabbit Goddess

 

It is located to the west of the rear of the Sainsbury Centre and makes an interesting detour from the Yare Valley Walk. The sculpture invites  children to explore inside and out.

New Masterplan for East Norwich emerging

The Yare Valley Society is keeping a watching brief on the new Masterplan emerging for East Norwich and has engaged in a Zoom consultation with other stakeholders.

The Masterplan will embrace four sites:

  1. Carrow Works – the former Colman’s factory site
  2. Deal Ground – large site east of the railway
  3. May Gurney – former HQ site for local firm
  4. Utilities sites – former power station site

The Masterplan will impact on the Yare Valley, and the Society’s objectives in relation to the Masterplan are:

  • To safeguard the green infrastructure corridor of the Yare Valley.
  • To promote biodiversity in the Valley
  • To promote walking and cycling routes along the valley to Whitlingham Country Park and to link them with the River Wensum walking and cycling routes.

Information on the developing Masterplan can be found here.

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/