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Reader letter: Earlham Park river access is a real danger

PUBLISHED: 14:24 17 August 2019 | UPDATED: 12:49 18 August 2019

Children cool off in the river at Earlham Park in Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Children cool off in the river at Earlham Park in Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

I have just spent a delightful time watching my great grandchildren paddling in the river by the steps at Earlham Park — just as I had done 70 years ago.

There were no steps or concrete base when I was young though. It was much more user-friendly before the concrete steps were added; just a gentle slope into the water, so if you fell you would not hurt yourself.

However, while I was there I noticed several children were slipping over onto their backs as they entered the water from the last couple of steps, like it was an ice rink. I saw one child slip badly three times in three minutes. If her head had caught the steps it could have been catastrophic.

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I remember when the Lord Mayor unveiled the newly created steps/base (about 50 years ago) and it transpired that the water level was several inches lower than the concrete base so a dam had to be built to raise the water level. Since that day there has been no maintenance to this dubious construction.
Earlham Park is an amazing green space for families, as a child myself then my children, grandchildren and now great grandchildren have spent many, many hours enjoying it.

Parking is a concern though, as using the church lay-by puts children in a seriously vulnerable position because of crossing the Watton Road and the grudgingly inadequate top car park is half a mile from the river.
Is it too much to expect the authorities, who take our council tax, to provide an insightful service?

Perhaps then the general public could take advantage of the magnificent space that is Earlham Park — given free to Norwich by the Fry family.

Mr Danny Budds,

Peakwell Close, Taverham.

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