A new canoe launch point which improves access to historic Norwich from the water has been opened by the Chairman of Broadland District Council accompanied by the city's Lord Mayor.
The launch point at Carey's Meadow, a pocket of countryside in Thorpe St Andrew, has been built by the Broads Authority to enable canoeists to join the river close to the city and paddle up either into the heart of Norwich—the City of the Broads – or down the River Yare towards Whitlingham Country Park and beyond.
Among the first to use it was the Lord Mayor of Norwich Judith Lubbock and Chief Executive of the Broads Authority John Packman who will launch their canoes and paddle upstream waved on their way by Chairman of Broadland District Council, Cllr Tony Adams.
The £12,000 canoe port is part of a suite of new facilities being planned by the Broads Authority with the Wensum River Parkway Partnership to help small boats access the river in Norwich, the only city to be set within a member of the national park family.
Adrian Clarke, Senior Waterways and Recreation Officer at the Broads Authority, said "The new access point opens up the Norwich City river corridor to canoeists who will be able to experience the historic setting from a whole new perspective.
"You can paddle under 12 bridges, past the 1,000-year-old cathedral, medieval Pull's Ferry and Cow Tower on your way to the limit of navigation at New Mills Yard, stopping at historic pubs along the way. Alternatively you can head downstream to the wilder reaches with broads, dykes and backwaters to explore."
Broadland District Council Chairman, Tony Adams said: "I am delighted to see this new facility in the district. As well as opening up access to the city it will also give visitors the chance to enjoy some of the beauties of Broadland from the river."
Alec Hartley, Chairman of the Wensum River Parkway Partnership said: "We see this excellent new facility provided by the Broads Authority as the start of a major drive to bring life back to the river Wensum between Whitlingham and New Mills. We are working with the Broads Authority and Norwich City Council to dramatically increase in the next few years the number of access points for small craft upriver of Carey's Meadow - rowing boats and powered craft as well as canoes. If you can't get on the river you can't use it, and what the city lacks at the moment are moorings, stairs, slipways and pontoons. This is a good beginning to what promises to be an exciting voyage."
The new access point has been created with the Environment Agency's Check, Clean Dry campaign in mind. It is fitted with innovative brushes to clean any invasive species such as 'killer' shrimps from canoes as they enter and exit the water. A small car park at the entrance of Carey's Meadow, opposite the Broadland District Council offices on Thorpe Road, is to be extended.
Canoeing is growing rapidly in popularity as a great way to explore the more tranquil and inaccessible waterways. The Broads Authority, in consultation with the Broads Local Access Forum, has created eight canoe trails in the northern and southern Broads of which the Norwich Canoe Trail is one. Colourful maps complete with estimated timings for the trails and highlighting places of interest and wildlife you might meet along the way are downloadable from Enjoy the Broads.
Thursday 27 November 2014