Alderman Canal

Alderman Canal & River Gipping

Alderman Canal is a Local Nature Reserve next to Alderman Road Recreation Ground (just behind the Ipswich Town football ground). Although quite a small nature reserve, it’s location near to Ipswich town centre makes it very special.

The River Gipping flows through Ipswich and changes it’s name to the River Orwell once the river becomes tidal. The River Path alongside the Gipping is a vital link for pedestrians and cyclists – allowing travel to and from work, shops and schools as well as offering very pleasant opportunities for recreational use. The path through Ipswich is part of a 17 mile walk upstream to Stowmarket, passing through Sproughton, Bramford, Claydon and Needham Market on the way.

During the a2nipswich project , we have made it easier to get around Alderman Canal by installing two wooden footbridges, laying a boardwalk across the marshy areas and by resurfacing the path alongside the canal. We have also erected directional signs along the river path and at Alderman, and renewed the older information boards along the river.

We want the area to be enjoyable to visit and look ‘cared for’, and so we have regularly removed litter, both from the land and from the water. We have trimmed vegetation that might obstruct the paths and cut the grass alongside paths.

We have improved habitats for wildlife by cutting the reeds in the reedbed in winter, by coppicing the shrubs to let more light in, by mowing & raking the long grass areas and by constructing log piles (part-buried in the ground).

View location of Alderman Canal on Google Maps.


Action Plan for Alderman Canal & River Gipping

The Greenways Countryside Project manages Alderman Canal Local Nature Reserve, and the river path along the River Gipping.

Management Objectives

  1. A greener, wider river corridor.
  2. Making the area look “cared for” – encouraging local people to feel a sense of ownership.
  3. Maintaining easy access.
  4. Gradual improvement of habitats for wildlife.

Management Activities

Alderman Canal: 

  • Mow/strim vegetation either side of paths and cut back overhanging vegetation.
  • Coppice/cut most stems between path and canal to keep views of open water.
  • Coppice areas of willow, buddleia and elder, in rotation, to let light in.
  • Construct and maintain dead hedges.
  • Maintain areas of bramble scrub at their current size (don’t allow bramble to spread).
  • Annual grass cut of meadow areas to maintain grassland habitat (including encouraging growth of wild flowers), with cut material raked off and piled up to provide habitat for reptiles and amphibians.
  • Cut reedbeds on three-year rotation.
  • Remove litter from path and bank.
  • Remove floating litter (by boat).
  • Clean and maintain interpretation board and directional signage.
  • Establish path/bridge/boardwalk through western reedbed to connect with Bibb Way.
  • Assess the effectiveness of the water aeration system being installed by McCarthy and Stone.
  • Investigate measures for controlling duckweed.
  • Carry out wildlife surveys (e.g. water vole, birds, butterflies, invertebrates, flora).
  • Carry out a campaign to encouraging the public to put litter in the bins (and consider whether additional litter bins are needed).

River Gipping:

  • Mow/strim vegetation either side of the path and cut back overhanging vegetation.
  • Annual grass cut of meadow areas to maintain grassland habitat (including encouraging growth of wild flowers), with cut material raked off and piled up to provide habitat for reptiles and amphibians.
  • Remove litter from path and bank.
  • Remove floating litter (by boat) and large items of rubbish wedged in the mud.
  • Clean and maintain interpretation board and directional signage.
  • Monitor path surface and repair/improve as required.
  • Maintain bank edge revetments.
  • Carry out wildlife surveys.

A map of Alderman Canal is shown on the following page.

The complete Management Plan is available from the Greenways Project, greenways.project@ipswich.gov.uk

Map

Alderman Canal - Map
(click to enlarge)