The River Stour, which runs along much of the Suffolk/Essex border, will be utilised this weekend by up to 300 canoes and kayaks as dedicated paddlers navigate some 22 miles, through up to 18 portages from Sudbury, through Constable Country all the way to the coast at Cattawade.
The annual Sudbury to the Sea event, organised by the River Stour Trust, takes place this weekend (September 9 and 10) and thanks to the efforts of the Environment Agency those taking part will be enjoying a much clearer journey.
Dozens of fallen trees and other blockages have been cleared from the waterway, while several landing points have been repaired or refurbished in time for the event.
Environment Agency officers will be on hand alongside event marshals and River Stour Trust volunteers throughout the weekend to offer advice and answer questions from the public at key sites on the route as well as assisting participants as they negotiate some of the portages.
Among the locations that have undergone work is the portage at Lamarsh Regulator weir, which has been refurbished by the Environment Agency Waterways Operations team.
Paul Separovic, Waterways Operations team leader for the River Stour Navigation, said:
The Environment Agency has worked really hard and is responsible for maintaining the River Stour Navigation. We work closely with our partners on the river via the River Stour Users Group and the River Stour Trust to enable as many people as possible to fully enjoy what this beautiful river has to offer.
The River Stour is navigable from Brundon Mill just upstream of Sudbury all the way through to the tidal waters of the Stour Estuary at Cattawade and Manningtree for unpowered craft and a short section of a few miles is also open to powered craft.
Sudbury to the Sea is an annual event that attracts a surge of visitors to the river and is the River Stour Trust’s prime event on their calendar. It provides an ideal opportunity to showcase to a wider audience all that the River Stour has to offer. Over recent years we have invested on improving navigation infrastructure on the river and on maintaining and keeping the navigation clear.
Catherine Burrows at the River Stour Trust said:
We work in partnership with the Environment Agency and we would like to thank them for efforts made to maintain and keep the River Stour Navigation in working order.
We believe the upcoming Sudbury to the Sea event will be a great success and it gives people a chance to see what the River Stour Trust is doing to promote the river as a navigation and what our aspirations are for the future. Should anyone further wish to participate in this year’s event or future events or find out more about the River Stour Trust, please contact us.