New look for Suffolk beauty spot

A RIVERSIDE amenity area on the banks of the River Deben could be given a £150,000 makeover to enhance the popular attraction.More than 100,000 visitors visit the Melton riverside area, off Wilford Bridge, near Woodbridge, every year.

A RIVERSIDE amenity area on the banks of the River Deben could be given a £150,000 makeover to enhance the popular attraction.

More than 100,000 visitors visit the Melton riverside area, off Wilford Bridge, near Woodbridge, every year.

But improvements are required to both protect and enhance the area and now Suffolk Coastal District Council is hoping lottery money could be obtained for the project.

Countryside officers from the district council gave a presentation at the annual parish meeting in Melton and residents were told that the area had been created in the early 1980s.

The principal aim was to provide a place for visitors to relax, play and learn about the local environment with a site that was easily accessible by car, cycle, bus, train or on foot.

The planned improvements include improved access for pushchairs and the disabled, upgrading the car park surface and opening up new unexplored areas.

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The duck pond and the more secluded wildlife pond require dredging, new fencing is needed to protect the fragile community of wild flowers, and there are plans for a new picnic and play area and a sculpture trail.

There is an amphitheatre at Melton and this could be tidied up and new seats installed.

Mary Neale, cabinet member for leisure and countryside, said: “We have discussed the plan with Melton parish council and Melton primary school and followed this with a presentation at Melton's annual parish meeting.

“Because of the positive response we have received, we would now like to form a Friends of Melton Riverside group.

“This group could help formulate the lottery bid and thereafter get involved in future practical management of the site whether or not the bid is successful.”