Bawdsey ferry operational again after AONB funding lifeline
Bawdsey foot ferry was back in operation from 7th July following a significant refurbishment project funded by the Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Sustainable Development Fund (SDF).
The future of the ancient foot ferry was in doubt after the jetty on the Bawdsey side, owned by Bawdsey Manor Estate, became unsafe. However, the £10,000 SDF grant, which was the last and most significant part of a refurbishment funding package, means that this ancient Suffolk attraction is now protected for future generations to come.
Bawdsey foot ferry has existed in Suffolk since the 12th century, and is one of four foot ferries in the AONB, connecting Felixstowe Ferry with Bawdsey Quay. It forms a vital link on the Suffolk Coast Path, is important for cyclists on regional and national cycling routes and is a valuable part of the tourism offer in the area.
Cllr David Wood, Chairman of the AONB said “I am thrilled that the SDF grant has enabled this iconic Suffolk attraction and valuable local service to become operational once more. The future of the Bawdsey foot ferry has been a cause of concern for both local residents and visitors alike, and it is wonderful that its future is now secure. A ferry has operated here for nearly 900 years – and we hope it will be operating for 900 more!”.
Other funders contributing to the refurbishment costs of the Bawdsey jetty include; Suffolk County Council, Bawdsey Manor Estate and the Felixstowe Ferry boat yard (who operate the ferry service).