The long-anticipated River Stour footpath between Great Cornard and Sudbury has today been opened at a formal ribbon-cutting.
Babergh Deputy Leader Cllr Jan Osborne opened the footpath today, in a ceremony with Cllr Tina Campbell, Babergh’s Cabinet Member for Environment, and district, county and town and parish councillors and representatives of the River Stour Trust. Cllr Osborne cut the ribbon on the new footpath, which was closed to the public during construction and is now open to all walkers. Photographs of the ceremony are on the council's Flickr pages.
The ceremony was also joined by Alison, Fiona, Thomas, Helen, Diane and other members of the Berry family, family of former Babergh District Council Countryside Officer Peter Berry. Mr Berry worked at Babergh from 1974, and was instrumental in forming the original plans for the River Stour footpath. Following his death in 2009, while still employed at the council, Babergh councillors agreed it fitting to dedicate the footpath he had worked so hard to secure in his honour. Thomas Berry, Mr Berry’s son, officially unveiled a plaque in a moving ceremony today.
The newly completed path provides an extension of the existing Cornard Riverside Path, allowing residents and visitors to enjoy more of the idyllic riverbank as well as providing pedestrian access to the River Stour Trust’s Visitor and Education Centre at Dovehouse Meadow. The path forms a pedestrian route of Dovehouse Meadow in Great Cornard to the Cornard Riverside Path.
Cllr Jan Osborne, Deputy Leader of Babergh District Council, said: “It’s been a dream of mine to see this path open, and I know many others shared that dream: to see the ribbon cut and the first walkers stroll alongside the Stour was a truly wonderful moment. It has taken a lot of hard work, but I know residents and visitors who use this path will feel it has all been worth it.”
Cllr Tina Campbell, Babergh’s Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “Today we’ve marked the culmination of a great deal of work by residents, councillors and council officers to see this path created: it was a privilege to be able to share this moment with Peter Berry’s family. Peter’s hard work, both as a Babergh officer and as Chair of the Sudbury Riverside Group, demonstrated just how determined people were to see this path opened, and today shows that their hard work has paid off in full.”