A River for All

River GippingThe River Gipping running through Ipswich, along with its associated cycle-ways, paths, bridges and green spaces – allows local people to enjoy relatively traffic-free routes to and from town, work, school and other facilities.

Along the river there are opportunities for you to walk and cycle for leisure or commuting, walk your dog, watch wildlife, go fishing, enjoy your lunch break, have a picnic, run, or simply enjoy the pleasant surroundings and escape from your busy life! The river offers a unique perspective on the town, its buildings, artworks, history and wildlife, that you cannot appreciate from the roads.

Although land alongside the river is in different ownerships, there is access along at least one bank all the way from Stoke Bridge to the old sugar factory and beyond. Green spaces alongside the river include Alderman Canal Local Nature Reserve, the Old Cattle Yard, West End Road Wildflower Bank, Riverside Road Meadow and the Skate Park near Stoke Bridge.

Different sections of the river have very different characteristics – some are tidal and have concrete and steel banks, others are freshwater and more natural looking. Different wildlife species use these varied habitats and provide interest and surprises to the passer-by. Otters and water voles have been seen at Alderman Canal, estuary birds such as oystercatcher, cormorant and little egret, are common sights on the tidal stretches. The West End Road Wildflower Bank and Riverside Road Meadow have a wide range of plants, insects, amphibians and reptiles.


River leaflet cover

A printed leaflet is available, containing a map of the River Path. This is available from the Ipswich Tourist Information Centre in St Stephen’s Lane, the Reg Driver Centre in Christchurch Park or by contacting the Greenways Project.

Two versions of the leaflet are available to download (PDF format):

  1. River Leaflet for onscreen viewing (0.6MB)
  2. River Leaflet for printing on A4 paper (0.4MB)
    (when printing from Acrobat Reader select ‘Print Scaling’ option ‘Fit to Printable Area’).

Alderman Canal LNR

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.

Southern Marsh Orchid

Southern Marsh Orchid

The reserve includes two areas of reedbed, trees and shrubs alongside the canal, and a large area of long grass underneath the cricket bat willows where southern marsh orchids flower in June.

In 2010-11, Greenways undertook a project with a2nipswich to make 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.

Each year the long grass area is cut at the end of the season, to encourage the growth of wild flowers. Sections of the reedbed are cut on rotation, to remove dead material and stimulate fresh growth.

Bibb Way, Ipswich. IP1 2EQ

Grid Reference

Great for…
Southern Marsh Orchid (June),
walk alongside the canal,

Get directions
View Google Maps

There is on-street parking in Sir Alf Ramsey Way and Constantine Road. There are public car parks in Portman Road.
Note that Bibb Way is privately-owned.

Public Transport
Bus #38 Ipswich Circular stops in Constantine Road.

Connected Sites
River Path
Wildflower Bank
Old Cattle Yard

Dogs are welcome, but please keep dogs under close control: on a fixed lead, walking to heel or with reliable recall.

Tarmac path along canal between Alderman Road and Bibb Way, with wooden boardwalks through wildflower meadow – accessible by wheelchair and pushchairs. Stony path along canal between Bibb Way and West End Road.

Site owned by
Ipswich Borough Council

Site managed by

New Greenways Website

Screenshot of new Greenways websiteGreenways has a new website, with a clickable map of the sites managed by Greenways, a photo gallery and downloadable versions of the leaflets for the River Path and Belstead Brook Park (access these via the map).

This is a work in progress – we’d like to have detailed descriptions of more of the sites, with many more photos. If you can take photos of one of the sites and/or write a description of it, please get in touch: greenways.project@ipswich.gov.uk. Also, if you have any comments on the new website, please email us or use the “Leave a Reply” boxes on the website.

The website address (URL) is unchanged: http://www.greenlivingcentre.org.uk/greenways/

Belstead Brook Park

Belstead Brook Park

Belstead Brook Park (BBP) is an informal country park, extending to about 250 acres, offering opportunities for people to explore well managed countryside right on the edge of town. The Park includes areas of ancient woodland, wet woodland, ponds, meadows, reedbeds, hedges, farmed land and the Brook itself.

The Park is perfect for leisurely strolls; enjoying beautiful scenery and fresh air; walking the dog; running; cycling; watching wildlife; photography; and includes areas for formal sport, children’s play and other activities.

The Park is a vitally important area for wildlife and for local people to enjoy. In a relatively small area there are a vast range of habitats and rare and protected species including dormice, otters, bats, water voles, reptiles, kingfishers and bluebells.

Belstead Brook Park includes Spring Wood, Millennium Wood, Kiln Meadow, Bobbits Lane Meadows, Bourne Park Reedbeds, Bourne Park and Belstead Meadows.


Belstead Brook Park Leaflet

A printed leaflet is available, containing a map of Belstead Brook Park. This is available from the Ipswich Tourist Information Centre in St Stephen’s Lane, the Reg Driver Centre in Christchurch Park or by contacting the Greenways Project.

Two versions of the leaflet are available to downoad (PDF format):

  1. BBP Leaflet for onscreen viewing (7MB)
  2. BBP Leaflet for printing on A4 paper (0.8MB)
    (when printing from Acrobat Reader select ‘Print Scaling’ option ‘Fit to Printable Area’).

Green Spaces around Ipswich

This map shows sites where Greenways has carried our conservation work in recent years. Most sites are managed by Greenways, but not all.

View Greenways Countryside Project in a larger map

Site managed by Greenways
Site managed by a partner
Greenways Project Area Greenways Project Area

The map above may not display correctly in older browsers (e.g. Internet Explorer 8) – see Google’s policy on Supported Browsers. If this is the case, you can view a text list of the sites.