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Woodside FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions

We have tried to provide answers here to some of the most common questions surrounding the Woodside Bridge Appeal. If you still have a query please email careMoor@exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk.

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 much will the new bridge cost?
£65,000. The contractor was selected via a competitive process and has a long heritage of building high quality pedestrian bridges across the UK.
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 sections and constructed on site.

Did you know?

There has been a crossing here for over 100 years. The original bridge was lost in the famous Lynmouth Flood of 1952. It was replaced later in the 1950s, and again in 1993 due to wear and tear. The 1993 bridge was erected by the Royal Engineers working with Exmoor National Park and at the time was one of the largest single span footbridges in the National Park, at 17.4 metres/57 feet. 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 with the community and visitors we are campaigning to raise the funds for a new structure.

Artists impression - Kathryn Nichols thedrawinghouse.com

Artist impression of the proposed new bridge constructed of local hardwood timber from Exmoor. By Kathryn Nichols,  

thedrawinghouse.com.