Bridge repair completed

The bridge over the stream below the Cringleford flyover has now been restored. Steel girders have been installed to give the new decking improved support from below. The bridge is now in use, but this section of the Yare Valley Walk can be expected to be closed in the near future for improvement work of the river path and banks. See earlier news for the 7th October more details.

Temporary closure of the Yare Valley Walk between Strawberry Field and Cringleford Meadow.

Notices have now been posted announcing the work that is to be done on the Yare Valley Walk along the riverside between the Strawberry Field and Cringleford Meadow. The work is expected to be started in the near future, but no date has been given.

This section of the walk has long needed improvement. It can become very muddy and almost impassable in adverse weather conditions. The improvements being planned are very welcome, and are being carried out in fulfilment of a condition placed on the planning approval for Phase 2 of the McCarthy Stone development on the Bluebell Road.

The map for the diversion is the same as that already posted for the temporary closure of the bridge in the news item below.

Temporary closure of footbridge on Yare Valley Walk

Norwich City Services Ltd will be repairing the damaged bridge at Cringleford Meadow underneath the A11 flyover which provides access over a ditch along the Yare Valley Walk.

Norwich City Services Ltd carried out a rapid temporary repair of the bridge in the summer and will be returning on Tuesday 11th and Wednesday 12th October to carry out a full repair. This will involve installing new metal support beams to strength the bridge and installing recycled plastic decking boards. The bridge will be closed while the work is being carried out.

Metal support beams arrive for bridge reinforcement

The Norwich Fringe Project will be erecting notices to show a diversion to avoid the bridge. The diversion from the direction of UEA will be through the Strawberry Field, turn right on to Bluebell Road, turn right at Eaton Traffic lights, and then right again to enter Cringleford Meadow Car Park. The reverse of this route will enable you to re-join the Yare Valley Walk from the direction of the Cringleford Meadow Car Park. A map showing the diversion has been posted on the Walk:

Map of Diversion

Yellow Rattle Planting at UEA Meadows

Matt Tomlinson of Friends of Strawberry Field and UEA Meadows writes:

“To continue our work to help restore the UEA meadows – UEA estates have kindly cut short an area on the meadow by the lake for us. We can now rake up the arisings and create some bare soil to sow yellow rattle and other strawberry field wildflower seeds. This worked really well last year and it would be great to build on this success. 

Dates and times –

Sunday 8th Oct 10-12pm

Saturday 14th Oct 2-5pm

Please bring a rake with you if possible. I have borrowed 6 if you don’t have any.

Coffee and biscuits provided and of course everyone is welcome.

Hope to see you then” 

Bridge hazard warning

We have received numerous reports of the hazardous state of a bridge that takes the Yare Valley Walk across a small brook immediately upstream of the Cringleford Flyover. The hazard has been reported to the City Council and it is looking into what might be done. It seems likely that the bridge is not safe to cross at present because of the possibility of other timbers giving way, and so the link between Cringleford Meadow and UEA has, in effect, been broken.

Damaged bridge with missing and sagging timbers.
Photo: Rachel Hore

Updates on Progress:

Matthew Davies of the Norwich Fringe Project has asked the property services team at Norwich City Council to price up the cost of replacing the middle rotten beam with a metal one and replacing the wooden decking boards with plastic. The Norwich Fringe Project had already had to do some remedial work to the decking boards, covering them, temporarily, with plywood.

The Yare Valley Society is posting warning notices about the bridge at the Cringleford Meadow car park and at the Strawberry Field with directions for alternative routes.

Alterative Routes are:

From Cringleford Meadow car park go up Eaton Street to the cross roads and turn left along Bluebell Road, continue past McCarthy Stone development, and then cut down across Strawberry Field on your left to the river. Or instead, at the broken bridge turn right on to the path alongside the flyover and then turn left on reaching Bluebell Road to reach the Strawberry Field.

From Strawberry Field head up to Bluebell Road and turn right towards Eaton Village then
turn right onto Eaton Street and the Cringleford Meadow car park is just
beyond Waitrose on the right.

Bridge now given a temporary repair, see above News item.

Development proposed in Yare Valley Corridor

Planning applications have been submitted to Norwich City Council, South Norfolk District Council, and Broadland District Council for the development of the Deal Ground at Bracondale. The Yare Valley Society is concerned about any development that could impact on the effectiveness of the Yare Valley green corridor, from Bawburgh Lakes to Whitlingham Country Park, in its roles of sustaining biodiversity, combatting and mitigating the effects of climate change, and providing a green space for informal recreation.

The Application Number for Norwich is 23/00774/RM. The proposal is for “Reserved Matters of appearance, landscaping, layout and scale of outline planning permission 12/00875/O ‘Outline planning application (full details of access) for a mixed development consisting of a maximum of 670 dwellings; a local centre comprising commercial uses (A1/A2/A3): a restaurant/dining quarter and public house (A3/A4); demolition of buildings on the May Gurney site (excluding the former public house); an access bridge over the River Yare; new access road; car parking; flood risk management measures; landscape measures inc earthworks to form new swales and other biodiversity enhancements including the re-use of the Grade II Listed brick Kiln for use by bats.”

“The Consultation Expiry Date is 12 August 2023”

You can view comments from the public and other consultees as they are added to the application file throughout the assessment process on the council’s planning website. Search for application number 23/00774/RM and select the Comments tab. You can use the same website to make your own comments, or you can make them by email to

To view the application made to Broadland and South Norfolk Council please visit their planning website and search for application number 2023/1825

The Yare Valley Society will be examining the application carefully, and will respond as appropriate, particularly in relation to:

Yare Valley Green Infrastructure Corridor and Parkway.

It will look for an easing of the pinch point in the valley green corridor at Lord Boswell’s Green. The pinch point section has recently been further degraded by the removal of mature trees along the drainage channel between the Green and the development. To what extent will the proposals compensate for this damage?

County Wildlife Site

The present County Wildlife Site is outside of the development area. To what extent will the integrity of the wildlife site be protected? How might its biodiversity be improved? How might public access be restricted to safeguard wildlife?

Pedestrian and cyclist links through the site

How might the pedestrian and cycle links through the site contribute to the long-term aim of a Yare Valley Walk from Bawburgh Lakes to Whitlingham Country Park. Will there be a link over Yare linking the development to the Whitlingham Country Park? How will it link with the cycling and walking routes into the City?


Will the development increase or decrease the likelihood of flooding upstream and downstream in the Wensum and the Yare? What safeguards are being put in place?

Please have a look at this application and comment on the proposals, perhaps bearing in mind the questions raised above, as well as your own questions.

Restoring the River for Wildlife

The Environmental Agency is funding Norfolk Rivers Trust to work on schemes that will increase meanders in the river, increase the speed of flow of the water, and trap more of the sediment that it transports. At the same time the schemes will improve water quality and provide marginal cover and habitat for river dwellers, such as water voles.

Newly constructed Berm Photo: John Elbro

Woody berms are being installed at various points along the banks of the River Yare between Cringleford Bridge and the UEA campus. The Woody Berms are made up of woody material, mainly alder, layered at the river margins and held tightly in place by stakes and cross braces. In places this has necessitated cutting back some of the vegetation on the banks to provide the materials.

As time passes reeds and other marginal vegetation will become established in the berms to give a more naturalised appearance and create habitat. An idea of what the mature berm might look like can be seen in a Wessex River Trust booklet.

Yare Valley Water Vole Photo: Lynda Clarkson

The Norwich Fringe Project has also been using natural materials to restore sections of bank that have become eroded at Marsden Marsh. It has inserted Faggots at places with serious bank erosion, these will help to consolidate the bank and reduce further erosion.

Bank restoration on Marsden Marsh

Explanatory notices have been put up to explain the works. A clearer map can be found here.

The Valley in Neolithic times

Eaton Village Residents’ Association (EVRA) is hosting a talk by Dr. Andrew Hutcheson on Arminghall Henge at Eaton Vale Activity Centre on Wednesday 15th March. Dr Hutcheson led last summer’s archaeological dig at the henge site. The site is surrounded by ditches and barrows that make this one of the densest collections of late Neolithic early Bronze Age monuments in eastern England and one of the most important prehistoric discoveries in Norfolk.

There are more details on the EVRA Website.

Arminghall Henge lies in the Yare Valley close to the river bridge at Lakenham. The nearest point of approach is on the Boudicca long distance trail which passes along the river valley at this point. A long term aim for the Yare Valley Parkway is to link the Yare Valley Walk with the Boudica Trail on its way to the Walk’s projected end point of  Whitlingham Country Park and a link to the Wherryman’s Way.

More information about the henge is on the Norfolk Heritage Website.

River Path Improvements Revised

A new planning application, 23/00082/D, is a revision of improvements to part of the Yare Valley Walk from the present improved path near the Strawberry Field to the Flyover. At the flyover the improvements will link with the recently completed Cringleford Meadow paths. The work is to satisfy a condition laid upon Phase 2 of the McCarthy Stone development. The application is a modified form of the original application, which was announced in the News page on August 2022, and now replaces it. The plans are to be found by searching using the reference number at the Norwich Planning Portal.