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£100,000 scheme for Gipping

PUBLISHED: 12:03 29 January 2002 | UPDATED: 15:24 03 March 2010

BARGES and boats could be set to return to an East Anglian waterway under a plan to transform a town's river.

The £100,000 scheme aims to reclaim a two-mile section of the River Gipping through Stowmarket for recreational use and make it navigable again.

BARGES and boats could be set to return to an East Anglian waterway under a plan to transform a town's river.

The £100,000 scheme aims to reclaim a two-mile section of the River Gipping through Stowmarket for recreational use and make it navigable again.

It is hoped within two years a walkway will be put in along the bank with features including lighting, new fencing and new railings so the river could be viewed from the bridges at either end of the stretch.

A committee has been formed to push forward the plan – called the Pickerel Project – and it is now seeking pledges of help and money from individuals and companies to raise the £100,000 needed to give the stretch a facelift.

Ron Snell, chairman of the Pickerel Project committee, said: "We want to open the river and the path all the way to Ipswich. We want this area to be the starting point and to be an real amenity for everyone, but particularly the disabled and mothers and children."

He added that canoeing, boating and other activities including fishing could return to the stretch just beyond the bridges.

Chard Wadley, chairman of the Ipswich branch of the Inland Waterways Association, said he supported the plan and added: "We would like to see the whole river completely open to navigation and for everyone – for anglers, walkers and cyclists."

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