Thanks to funding from East Northamptonshire Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund, the new Girder Bridge is now permanently in place at Nene Wetlands.
For the last year a temporary structure has been in place at Girder Bridge in the Nene Wetlands nature reserve - prior to that there was no connection as the previous bridge had been dismantled.
The main Bailey Bridge over the river was restored and opened as planned but work to restore the Girder Bridge over the back channel proved both more difficult and more costly due to unforeseen difficulties requiring extensive re-engineering of the bridge supports. Although access was possible from Irthlingborough it involved detours and the use of unsurfaced paths that became less than pleasant in wet weather; as a temporary measure the Trust installed a temporary footbridge a year ago to give easy access as soon as possible. Now, thanks to funding from East Northamptonshire Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund the permanent structure has been made possible.
Leader of East Northamptonshire Council, Cllr Steven North, said: “We are delighted that the new Girder Bridge is now open at the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire's Nene Wetlands nature reserve. This new structure will provide a vital link between the Greenway footpaths and cycle-ways around the lakes, giving people more opportunities to enjoy the wildlife our district has to offer.”
Toni Castello, Nene Wetlands senior ranger said: “It's very significant to link the two large areas of the nature reserve for public use with a permanently structure at long last. This enhances quality to the area, allows improved access to and from Irthlingborough and facilitates full access to the nature reserve. We're very grateful to East Northants Council and HLF for funding, and we thank those using the reserve for their patience during the building works.”