Marston Marshes Footpath Bid – update Summer 2010

As this is an appeal to the Big Lottery Fund we would like to receive as much public support as possible. The local schools, including Eaton Primary and the special needs schools of Clare and Eaton Hall together with the Ipswich Road Training Centre, the local Parochial Church Council and the Yare Valley Society have all given their support YOU CAN TOO!

See further information in the Summer Newsletter.

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  1. I was dismayed to read your newsletter regarding Marston Marshes Easy Access Project.The Marshes are one of very few areas here still in a semi-natural state and are enjoyed by many walkers and nature lovers because of this.The name’Marshes’
    implies that the land is going to be wet part of the time,that surely is part of the experience-put on some ‘wellies’!

    I find current tendency to try and theme everything most regrettable however well meaning the intention.

    You would better devote your attention to preserving what we have already, a beautiful blessing.

    1. I read with interest your comments on the Easy Access to Marston Marshes. The whole scheme has come about because wheel chair users were getting stuck in the marsh and having to ask for assistance to move again. The path will allow wheel chairs and prams round this particular part of the marshes but still allow freedom to walk on other parts of Marston Marshes and the adjacent Eaton Common. The whole point of the exercise, which has wholehearted support from the Norwich Fringe Project and the Environment Agency, is to allow more people to enjoy the benefits of such a natural beauty spot within the City boundary.

    2. I am all for easy access for the disabled and school children.they all pay their way and it`s a lovely place for people to enjoy.

  2. The Marston Marshes Easy Access Project will irredeemably ruin the character of the marshes. Marshes get wet and muddy in the winter – it’s what they do. For heaven’s sake put on a pair of boots if you want to walk there in winter; it’s not rocket science.

    I do understand the argument about access for wheelchair users and prams. It is not a politically correct opinion, but one has to accept that at some stages in life there will be some things one cannot do. When my children were young and in either a pram or pushchair my wife and I simply accepted there were some places that would be inaccessible to us, that’s how it is. Children are actually in prams or pushchairs for a relatively short space of time. Equally I accept when I become old or infirm there will be things I will not be able to do. Last time I walked up Skiddaw I noticed that it would be impossible to get a pram up there. I expect the PC brigade will be clamouring for a lift to be installed there next.

    As for the £50,000 all this will cost, in the current economic climate I cannot help thinking that the money would be better spent buying books for schools. Perhaps the idea of a ‘celebrity’ opening makes it all worth while. But hang on, why not just make it a game show and be done with it!

    Come on Little Englanders, just a bit more effort in the name of polticial correctness and you can reduce all the remaining wild and lovely places of this country to municipal parks!

    1. Hi,
      if I had the money I would have the path put in tomorrow and ……………..
      Marston lane re-opened for easier access either end.

      Mike Sutton

  3. I am glad to see that tolerance is alive and well in Eaton. Yes I agree that putting on wellies is a great idea and whilst I accept that losing a leg in a traffic accident may be viewed as a bit careless, this scheme would allow the area to be accessible to myself and other people like me.

    But I guess losing my leg also means I should give up my rights to be a human being and sit quietly on the sidelines bit like you obviously view I should be doing with the rest of my life as I cannot make a contribution to the world but as I am not going to be like this for a relatively short period of time I would be grateful if you could offer me an alternative solution of course without digging up the marshes.

    1. I certainly do not intend to sound intolerant and, vicariously, hope I understand something of the problems facing persons who are less able-bodied than myself. However, as an unfortunate generality I find when confronted with god-words such as ‘accessibility’ proper debate of the issues frequently goes out of the window. As JB’s comment shows this touches on very sensitive and difficult issues but there remains more than one reasoned viewpoint possible.

      For the record my wife and I both enjoy walking our dogs on the marshes. Also for the record, my wife has a degenerative disease and this will not always therefore be possible, and whilst I would not presume to speak for my wife – she is more than capable of doing so herself – I do have a personal interest in this matter.

  4. Firstly I would like to thank every one for taking the time to post their comments on this web site.

    Marston Marshes is an important site both for wildlife and also for people to visit. Our management aim is to both enhance and protect the wildlife, while at the same time giving easy access to the Marsh to local people. The proposed path will follow an existing path which runs around the site, from the golf course crossing point down to the river and back to e Marston Lane at the Ipswich Road end of the site. The current path is already built up with material in a number of places, particularly along the riverside and is in a poor state of repair; there are also sections along the path which quickly become muddy and difficult to walk over during wet weather. The proposed project would mean that the existing path will be upgraded and improved and dressed with a suitable gravel type material which will stop the path becoming muddy and water-logged. A muddy path means that people will tend to walk on the ground adjacent to the path, making it wider and so causing damage to the vegetation and disturbance to wildlife. A clearly defined hard surface path will encourage people to stick to the path, thus protecting the marsh from any unnecessary disturbance. I fully understand the point about putting wellies on when the path becomes muddy, however there are many people who are not able to easily access the countryside and this upgraded path would improve access for all. Marston Marshes is located in a built up area and is very popular and well used by local people; a good quality path will encourage people to stay on the route, preserving the wildlife living on the rest of the Marsh.

    As you may have already seen on the Marsh, the ditch works carried out in Autumn 2009 quickly greened over during the spring months and with that in mind it wouldn’t take long before the resurfaced path quickly blended in with the rest of the Marsh.

    I would also be more than happy to meet up on Marston Marshes to discuss any concerns people may have about the proposed project.

    Matthew Davies, Project Officer

    1. Hi Matt,

      just a big thank you for all the work you have done on the marsh in recent times.
      At least you get off your backside and don`t mind getting your hands dirty.
      The Council and users of the marsh should be grateful for what you do .

      Mike Sutton

  5. I tend to agree with the comments made by D Canning and D Robinson. However, whilst I am not totally against minimal, sensible and sensitive ‘tidying up’ of the marshes, I am concerned about the potential increased volume of people and car traffic it may bring to both ends of Marston Lane. I happen to live in the cul-de-sac at the bottom of Abinger Way which is already used as a dog walker’s car park. If this area is more widely advertised and promoted to the world at large does it mean that I will be continually jostling for parking space outside my own home? Large groups of children/adults may also mean more noise which, because of the open space, is easily carried across to the adjacent housing development. I love where I live and it was the natural, quiet marsh area which attracted me in the first place.

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