Southwold: Engineers will start work on restoring Ladies Walk footpath

Project engineer Brian Wilkins from Canham Consulting raises his hard hat to the news that restorati

Project engineer Brian Wilkins from Canham Consulting raises his hard hat to the news that restoration work is due to begin soon on Southwolds historic cliff-face walkway. Ladies Walk has been closed for three years. Picture credit: Paul Nixon Photography for Newsmakers PR - Credit: Paul Nixon Photography

Specialist engineers are soon expected to start work on restoring a historic cliff-face footpath which has been closed for three years.

Ladies Walk in Southwold was shut by Waveney District Council amid safety concerns. The path, above North Parade at Kilcock Cliff, was deemed unsafe after part of the cliff crumbled away and collapsed because of heavy rainfall, burrowing rabbits and the effect of soil creep.

Norwich-based Canham Consulting has been working on a scheme for a new pre-cast concrete pathway with retaining wall and railings, which should be started later this month. It is hoped the improvements – which should be complete by mid November –will result in a path that will remain stable in future, while retaining the original profile of the cliff face.

Principal infrastructure engineer Brian Wilkins said they had been working on the scheme for nearly two years.

“We have been working in an unusual environment, using established engineering techniques,” he said. “It has been an interesting mix of art and science. We are refurbishing the original cast iron handrail posts, which were made in an Ipswich foundry in Edwardian times. And to get the finish just right, the aggregate we found most suitable for the concrete sections comes from Wangford Quarry, just outside Southwold.”

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Canham Consulting has been working with Waveney District Council, NPS Property Consultants and Kier Construction.

Additional input has come from Southwold Town Council, which hosted public consultation meetings.

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The scheme will be partly paid for by income from the letting of new beach hut sites.

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