• Riverside Walkway showing River Sid to the Sea, railings and pathway. Riverside Walkway before new art galleries, seating and planting. Photo: Sarah Hall
  • Riverside Walkway looking down the river away from the mouth and the sea, showing pathway, wall, river and trees on the bank. Riverside Walkway before new brass rubbing trail Photo: Sarah Hall
  • Riverside Walkway before new wayfinding signage

Riverside Walkway Revitalised

Riverside Walkway Revitalised aims to improve the public walkway from the Ham playpark to the mouth of the river Sid and Alma Bridge. Outdoor galleries and a brass rubbing trail will highlight local heritage and biodiversity to create a reflective wellbeing space. 

New artworks will be created through an artist-led community process with print maker Emma Molony.  Emma will lead a series of art workshops with students from Sidmouth College, students from In Focus, those living with dementia and their carers at the Memory Cafe and older people who access the Oasis Cafe at the Dissenters Hall, Sidmouth.

The artworks and information will be exhibited throughout the walkway in a series of public outdoor galleries revitalising the area to create a new experience for people.

With support from local experts Nigel Hyman (SVA and ex Sidmouth Museum Curator), Ed Dolphin (Sid Valley Biodiversity) and Jon Ball, the project will explore a range of themes including Fishing Heritage – The History of Boats and Fishing in Sidmouth, Biodiversity in the River Sid, The River Sid Source to Sea, The Jurassic Coast and the History of The Ham.

Bat/dark sky friendly lighting in-keeping with the biodiversity of the area will be installed sympathetically balancing safety and increased use of the area with conservation. New railings, seating, planting and lighting will revitalise this tranquil area.  Way-finding signage will better connect the walkway to its surrounds linking to the South West Coast Path and the corridor to the Byes Riverside Park creating a place to walk, enjoy, learn and relax.

This collaborative project is being delivered with the community as active participants co-creating the artwork, key to generating ownership and responsible stewardship.

Project Progress Update

Working with Sidmouth Town Council new railings in keeping with Alma Bridge were installed in the first week of May 2023, and the walkway power washed and repaired.  Watch our video short to see for yourself and read on to find out more about working developments so far and working with groups in the community co-creating and transforming this beautiful but hitherto hidden space.

Riverside Walkway Gets A Makeover, work in progress.  Video: Tara Greifenberg

An all day print workshop led by Emma was held at the Sid Valley Biodiversity Festival (June 23) with around 40 children and families attending.   

The beautiful sensory garden alongside the Walkway provided the perfect location for these and our other workshop in July with young people from InFocus.  The experience making and creating in nature was mindful, creative and joyful.  

We used plants and flowers from the garden and took inspiration from the natural world around  us. Expertly guided by artist printmaker Emma, everyone had a go and created prints, some did mark making and all of the work is being fed into the design of the new galleries and seating for the Riverside Walkway.

Emma also worked with over 90 Year 7, 8 and 9s at Sidmouth College before the summer holidays, introducing them to the project and its themes and to a variety of print techniques. The students explored wildlife in the River Sid and created monographs and collagraphs of local creatures and their habitats including Danish Scurvy Grass found on Sidmouth Beach. Take a look here at their fabulous prints

We are grateful for the support for this project from all our funders

Arts Council England

Sidmouth Town Council

Sid Vale Association

Devon County Council

The Arts Society Sidmouth

East Devon AONB