As many of our regular Park visitors know, the much-loved Pontoon bridge in Ferry Meadows has given 34 years of devoted service to Ferry Meadows and is now ready to stand down and head off for retirement. It will be removed on the 23rd August and a new bridge installed in its place in the following weeks.

With funding secured from the National Lottery Heritage Fund through the Your Community Greenspace project, a new bridge has been designed and is being manufactured by CB Arts in Cumbria. The brief for the new bridge includes the need for improved access, resilient design and to be in keeping with the landscape setting of our country park, whilst creating a distinctive landmark feature for the Park.

In contrast to the existing wooden pontoon bridge, the main structure of the new bridge will be made from corten weathering steel as it will be corrosion–resistant, will blend in well with its outdoor environment and will require minimal maintenance.

The new bridge has been designed to meet the current and future demands of the Park. It will be wider than the existing bridge to help safely manage bicycles (including adapted bicycles), pedestrians and mobility scooters and it will have a non-slip surface to help deal with wintry or wet weather.

The bridge is an important structure in the Park because it provides a key crossing of the lake network within Ferry Meadows. The closure of this crossing point for the existing bridge removal and new bridge construction phase will have a diversion period for our Park visitors. We know this will create an inconvenience, but unfortunately there is no other option while the bridge works take place and the new bridge is installed. We're hoping people see this as a nice way to explore alternative routes around the Park and see new things.

Please bear with us; we promise the new bridge will be worth the wait.

Over the next few weeks, visitors to the Park can expect to see diversion signs being put in place at each of the path junctions that lead to the bridge. These will show a map so you can see alternative paths around the Park.

Finally we will be holding a retirement party for the bridge on the 22nd August so do come along if you can and say your farewells. We can assure you there'll be no awkward speeches or carriage clock presentations; just a little celebration for a dear old friend of the Park. 

Thank you all for your patience and co-operation while this work is being carried out. Providing everything goes to plan the new bridge should be open at the end of October. We look forward to cutting the ribbon on a new landmark for the Park, and in the meantime we wish our much-loved Pontoon Bridge well on its well-deserved retirement.