Woodside Bridge Appeal
Together we can reach the other side!
Where is Woodside Bridge?
Woodside Bridge has provided a crossing of the beautiful East Lyn River near to Lynmouth for over 100 years. The original bridge was lost in the famous Lynmouth Flood of 1952. It was replaced later in the 1950s further downstream to provide access to the Middle Memorial Gardens and replaced again in 1993 due to wear and tear.
Over the years 1000’s of people have used the bridge each year to enjoy the short easy circuit to Middleham Memorial Gardens and the beauty and wildlife of the river and its surrounding woodland. Click here for a location map.
Why do we need to replace the bridge?
Sadly, we had to remove the bridge in December 2016 for safety reasons, as the softwood timber beams had come to the end of their life. Many people are surprised to learn that the bridge is not recorded as a public right of way which means there is no duty to replace it. But due to the popularity of the bridge to the community and visitors we are campaigning to raise the funds for a new bridge.
We need your help to reach our target!
We are asking anyone with a love of Lynmouth: visitors or locals to make a donation. Any amount, large or small, will help to reach our target and enable us to reinstate this much-loved and much-missed local bridge as soon as possible.
Did you know?
The 1993 bridge was erected by the Royal Engineers working with Exmoor National Park and at the time was the largest single span footbridge in the National Park, at 17.4 metres/57 feet.
The bridge is a valued feature of the local community helping keep alive the memories of the terrible 1952 Lynmouth Flood by providing access to Middleham Memorial Gardens, as well as offering recreational access to the River Lyn for anglers, walkers, and canoeists.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is this not being fully funded by the National Park Authority?
The National Park Authority has committed to build and maintain this structure so long as sufficient construction costs can be raised. Whilst this is not a recorded public right of way it is clear that the bridge is an important community asset.
If it isn’t a Right of Way why is it needed?
Most public rights of way exist because of their historic use going back to the 1940’s and beyond. The fact that a path isn’t recorded as a public right of way does not mean that it is not important or popular, in fact some of our permitted paths in the National Park see a much greater use than many of our public rights of way. Thousands of people used the bridge each year to enjoy the short, easy circuit taking in Middleham Memorial Gardens along with the beauty and wildlife of the river and woodland valley. The bridge is an important link for visitors and the local businesses which they support.
How can the construction cost be justified?
The bridge is a large single span of 17.4m and will be designed and constructed by a specialist bridge manufacturer to a very high quality standard. The steelwork and welding must comply with the latest British safety standards. All materials are of high quality to ensure a long life with minimal maintenance. All timber will be sustainably sourced hardwood. Access to construct the bridge is very awkward as the path above Tors road is narrow. Temporary works will be required to allow access and the crane size is limited. Due to the access constraints the bridge beams will need to be split into three sections and constructed on site. The contractor was selected via a competitive process and has a long heritage of building high quality pedestrian bridges across the UK. Of course, all reasonable measures will be taken to ensure the safety and welfare of the contractors and the public during the build. There are some opportunities to alter the design to reduce the costs and these will be considered as the campaign progresses.