Bridges Matter

In the context of all that’s going on in the world, I know that this post may seem a bit unnecessary but I am feeling extremely upset having heard over the weekend that the lovely little wooden bridges in my local wood are to be replaced by shiny metal ones. Unfortunately the new bridges are already made and ready to install as soon as we come out of this current top level Lockdown.

The wooden bridges are beautiful and have been there as long as I can remember. I even have a photo somewhere that Dad took years back of a slightly different style of wooden bridge but they were wooden.

I have spent hours and hours and hours out in these woods and the highlight for me are the wooden bridges and their lovely design. They allow one to cross a tiny stream that runs down to the sea which is about a five minute walk down or even less. The woods were planted many years ago and have little paths and lots and lots of wild flowers and an array of different trees.

Wooden Bridge of Newtown Wood, Tramore, Co. Waterford

The Second Bridge nearer Newtown Cove

Up Close

The little bridges have fallen into a bit of disrepair in recent times and need attention but I simply can’t understand how anyone could think that metal bridges should replace these little gems that have such a place in the hearts of so many generations of people from Tramore and further afield.

It’s hard to know what can be done to stop a process that has gone so far but it seems important to try when such beauty and sense of place is at stake.

Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

24 thoughts on “Bridges Matter”

      1. I’ve dealt with lots of preservation issues and inappropriate updates/development proposals. It’s so hard and frustrating, and the pandemic has certainly made matters worse, as it’s more difficult to be engaged in local government. I hate this for you and for everyone who uses this beautiful, natural space.

        1. There has been quite a big outcry against it so maybe there’s still a glimpse of hope.
          I’m sure the metal bridges could find a more appropriate home.

  1. I think it important to acknowledge feelings, no matter there are issues smaller or larger always about. The bridges are lovely and the setting calls out for rustic to integrate it with the surroundings unobtrusively. I wonder how many other decisions have been made without community input of late? Lockdown can serve nefarious intent as well as a greater good.

  2. How sad, the beauty of the wooden bridges lost. You have to wonder if the person who made this decision has ever taken a walk in the woods.

    1. Yes, I’ve been wondering that since I heard about it and saw the horrors that are due to go in. Or else, they are more concerned about maintenance than anything.

  3. Do they have a gathering of the townspeople before implementing a drastic change so that they can judge whether or not it’s feasible to do? I think the steel/iron bridge would go longer with out maintenance so perhaps that and the cost prevail. Though the esthetics makes a lot of difference too. I feel sad to see these wonderful bridges disappear just like the covered bridges that dot the countryside here in the USA because of the cost involved in maintaining them…Sometimes change is not good…You lose that wonderful workmanship and endurance of time..

    1. There would usually be a reasonable bit of consultation but the lockdowns have scuppered a lot of that kind of thing and I’m probably not as tuned into planning notices and the like as I should be. I suppose I never, ever thought anyone would even consider putting metal bridges in. It would be like putting in artificial bluebells and pulling up the existing bulbs.

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