THE BURES NEW MILLENNIUM BRIDGE AND RIVERSIDE AMENITIES
As the project grew so did its aims. The river is a wonderful feature of Bures and it was felt that it had been under-valued and under used, not least, as a safe and convenient access to Bures School. The Bures Project Association committee therefore decided to make the footbridge part of a riverside recreational amenity. With this in mind, plans were initiated for a picnic area with tables and seats; a landing stage for easier access for boats; interpretation boards to make people aware of the riverside environment and its history; an avenue of native oak trees alongside the footpath; and a book of walks all starting and ending in Bures.
Village events were held
and the formidable task of raising the money was begun. There were setbacks, as
the cost of the project appeared to soar beyond reach but also there were many
acts of great generosity by members of our community.
The total cost of the project, including access and hard surfaced pathways was approximately £140,000. The parishes of Bures St Mary and Bures Hamlet raised £12,000, through the organised events and from individual donations, and the rest of the sum was generously donated by the organisations listed below.
Environmental Partnership Essex County Council
main construction work on the bridge and footpaths began on 11th March 2002.
The New Millennium Bridge and Riverside Amenities were officially opened on 7th July 2002 by Enid and Gordon Webber - nearly 5 years after the project started! The opening ceremony took place as part of the Steam Boat Regatta in which over 15 steam powered boats took part.
Since its completion the project has been awarded a Certificate of Merit by the Essex Environment Trust (one of the major donors) in the Access and Amenities Category. Only 9 out of over 200 projects were given this award. The Trustees "were particularly impressed with the benefits of the new pedestrian link provided by the bridge, which not only opened up the river, its water meadows and recreation ground, but also provided a convenient and safe route for children walking to school".
- all material (text & photographs) for these pages was supplied by Francesco
Bassi, Millennium Committee.