Photographer's Note

A few weeks ago my son and I went out on our inflatable Kayak on the river Waveney at Bungay, Suffolk.
It was a glorious day with loads of sun shine. We saw Otters, King fishers and loads more wild life.

The source of the River Waveney is a ditch on the east side of the B1113 road between the villages of Redgrave, Suffolk and South Lopham, Norfolk. The ditch on the other side of the road is the source of the River Little Ouse which continues the county boundary and, via the Great Ouse, reaches the sea at King's Lynn. It is thus claimed that during periods of heavy rainfall Norfolk can be considered to be an island. The explanation of this oddity is that the valley in which the rivers rise was formed, not by these rivers but by water spilling from Lake Fenland. This was a periglacial lake of the Devensian glacial, fifteen or twenty thousand years ago. The ice sheet closed the natural drainage from the Vale of Pickering, the Humber and The Wash so that a lake of a complex shape formed in the Vale of Pickering, the Yorkshire Ouse valley, the lower Trent valley and the Fenland basin. This valley was its spillway into the southern North Sea basin, thence to the English Channel basin.
The river rises close to the 82-foot (25 m) contour,and flows in an easterly direction though the towns of Diss, Bungay and Beccles. From its source it forms the southern boundary of Bressingham and Roydon before it reaches Diss. At Scole it is crossed by the course of a Roman road, with the modern A140 bypass just to the east. There is a weir at Billingford and Billingford Windmill is situated a little to the north of the river. Beyond Billingford Bridge the River Dove, flowing northwards from Eye, joins on the southern bank, the Mid Suffolk Footpath crosses and the river drops below the 66-foot (20 m) contour at another weir. It turns to the north-east to reach Brockdish and Needham before passing to the south of Harleston. There are several lakes on the south bank, the largest covering 100 acres (40 ha), which were once Weybread Gravel Pits, but are now used for fishing.
Below the lakes are the remains of a Cluniac Priory and the extensive drained area of Mendham Marshes. Mendham, which is the birthplace of the artist Alfred Munnings, lies on the Suffolk bank, Wortwell is in Norfolk, and Homersfield is again in Suffolk. In 1869, Homersfield Bridge, one of the first bridges to be constructed from concrete and iron was built across the river here. It was commissioned by Sir Shafto Adair, had a span of 50 feet (15 m) and predated the introduction of true reinforced concrete by several years. It is now the oldest concrete bridge in England and is a Grade II* listed structure. Road traffic was diverted onto a new bridge in 1970 and it was acquired by Norfolk County Council in 1994. They passed it on to the Norfolk Historic Buildings Trust, who managed its restoration in 1995, which was funded by grants from English Heritage, Blue Circle Industries and councils at county, district and local level. At Earsham the Otter Trust had one of its three UK centres, which opened in 1978 and closed in 2006, having successfully boosted otter numbers on the river. This has now reopened as the River Waveney Study Centre, managed by the River Waveney Trust.
At Bungay, the historic head of navigation, the Waveney forms a wide oxbow meander, carrying with it the Norfolk/Suffolk border. Next come Ditchingham, Broome and Ellingham before Geldeston, where an isolated pub stands next to the site of a lock, now replaced by a sluice. This is the current limit of navigation for craft larger than a rowing or paddling boat and at this point the Waveney becomes a tidal river. A short way further along is a dyke that leads to the village. Gillingham comes next before the river gathers waters at Beccles, as it enters the Broads. Although the old town bridge here restricts navigation to craft with an airdraft of less than 6.5 feet (2.0 m), its quay beyond that abruptly changes the nature of the river from a gentle rural feature to a gateway to the North Sea. Beccles was a fishing port for many years and the parents of Lord Nelson were married in the church of St Michael. The river then meanders past Barnby Broad and Marshes SSSI and Burgh St Peter to Somerleyton. Here Oulton Dyke branches off the Waveney to Oulton Broad towards Lowestoft. A sea lock, known as Mutford Lock, divides fresh from seawater and links Oulton Broad with Lake Lothing and the North Sea. This lock is operated by Sentinel Enterprises Limited and will allow traffic to pass through.
At Somerleyton the Lowestoft to Norwich railway line crosses the Waveney on a swing bridge,[9] while at St. Olaves, the Haddiscoe Cut branches off left to connect the Rivers Yare and Waveney. The Cut was excavated in the 19th century to provide a direct route between Lowestoft Docks and Norwich. Finally the Waveney flows past Burgh Castle into Breydon Water at the confluence of the two rivers. It now forms part of the river Yare and reaches the sea at Great Yarmouth.
There was a special version of the Norfolk wherry in use on the Waveney, with boats measuring no more than 70 by 16 feet (21.3 by 4.9 m). There were also steam wherries.
Daniel Defoe enlivens this account of the Waveney's Broads course:
The River Waveney is a considerable river, and of a deep and full channel, navigable for large barges as high as Beccles; it runs for a course of about fifty miles, between the two counties of Suffolk and Norfolk, as a boundary to both; and pushing on, tho' with a gentle stream, towards the sea, no one would doubt, but, that when they see the river growing broader and deeper, and going directly towards the sea, even to the edge of the beach; that is to say, within a mile of the main ocean; no stranger, I say, but would expect to see its entrance into the sea at that place, and a noble harbour for ships at the mouth of it; when on a sudden, the land rising high by the sea-side, crosses the head of the river, like a dam, checks the whole course of it, and it returns, bending its course west, for two miles, or thereabouts; and then turning north, thro' another long course of meadows (joining to those just now mention'd) seeks out the River Yare, that it may join its water with hers, and find their way to the sea together. Info Wiki.

arnie, snunney, jhm, tyro, Kamilutka, ikeharel, rychem, abmdsudi has marked this note useful

Photo Information
  • Copyright: Iain Richardson (RhodieIke) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 835 W: 1 N: 2666] (11744)
  • Genre: Places
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 2014-03-16
  • Categories: Decisive Moment
  • Exposure: f/9.0, 1/800 seconds
  • More Photo Info: view
  • Photo Version: Original Version
  • Date Submitted: 2014-04-01 2:57
Viewed: 1242
Points: 20
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Additional Photos by Iain Richardson (RhodieIke) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 835 W: 1 N: 2666] (11744)
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