Ice skating is set to return to the Fens
PUBLISHED: 12:36 20 March 2015 | UPDATED: 11:33 21 March 2015
An open air ice skating pond could be built alongside the Great Ouse as part of a radical scheme to revamp a key site in the Fens.
Photo gallery: Ice skating archive
SPORT ROLLER SKATING AT GREAT YARMOUTH DATED OCTOBER 1953
SPORT ROLLERSKATING AT GREAT YARMOUTH DATED 1960
Events - Shows The Skating Royals entertain the crowd at King's Lynn Round Table Ball at the Corn Exchange. Dated 30 March 1961
Sport -- Roller Skating Rollerskating at Gt. Yarmouth . Dated 4 June, 1967
Sport -- Roller Skating Rollerskating at Gt. Yarmouth. Dated 4 June, 1967
GY/EVENTS ROLLER SKATING CHAMPIONSHIPS:REHEARSALS DATED 1969
Sport -- Roller Skating National Roller Skating Championships, Great Yarmouth Valerie Woolsey, middle of front row, Geoffrey Richer to her right. Linda Bolllington, extreme right back row. Barrie Bigg is on the extreme left with his partner in front of him, Carol Wooden. Dated 7 April, 1969
GY/EVENTS ROLLER SKATING COMEPTITION DATED 1970
GY/EVENTS ROLLER SKATING CHAMPIONSHIPS DATED 1970
Crowds were out in large numbers at the weekend on Well Creek, Outwell and Welney Wash to enjoy ice skating on the frozen surfaces. taken 21st February 1978
The vision was unveiled yesterday, at the launch of a public consultation over ways to transform the area around Denver sluice, near to Downham Market, into a visitor destination and tourist attraction.
Among other proposals put forward were improved walking, cycling and riding trails, water sport facilities, and a water taxi service between Downham Market and Denver.
Although there were few details given as to exactly what the ice skating pond proposal would entail, it was the most eye-catching of the schemes outlined.
Such a project would tap into a rich heritage of ice skating in the Fens, where, for generations, inhabitants have flooded meadows during exceptionally cold winters, to create areas to skate.
The Denver Complex currently coordinates what is thought to be one of the largest and most sophisticated sluices in the country. But under the new plans, it is also hoped it will become a key attraction.
Ian Bliss, waterways partnerships manager for the Environment Agency, said: “We already have limited facilities here at Denver Complex, but it has so much potential.
“The complex is a vital operational site, so we’ve explored how to balance the important work that it does as well as attract visitors to the facilities. It’s also important to emphasise that this can raise awareness of the importance of Denver Sluice and promote it as an education facility.”
A landscape architect led an initial study and development of proposals, working alongside local residents and partners to explore how the area could be further developed.
The Environment Agency manages the site and is a partner in the Ouse Washes Partnership, a three-year project largely funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Funding to generate these ideas came from the Heritage Lottery Fund and members of the public were invited to share their views of the ideas presented.
Gerald Allison, general manager for the Downham Market Group of Internal Drainage Boards, said: “It would be nice to make people more aware of Denver Sluice and its function in terms of flood risk management. I think it is a good idea to do something here as long as the flood risk management is not derogated in any way.”
Ann Linnett, of Minster Court, King’s Lynn, added: “There are lots of lovely walks around here that nobody seems to know about. I think this looks wonderful.”
Concerns raised by members of the public included the increased flow of traffic and a feeling that the ideas were overly ambitious.
Do you have a west Norfolk story? Email email@example.com