A new film has been released to celebrate the reinstatement of Woodside Bridge on the East Lyn and to mark Exmoor Day.

The official opening of the new Woodside Bridge at Lynmouth following a �65,000 community appeal. Picture: Exmoor National ParkThe official opening of the new Woodside Bridge at Lynmouth following a �65,000 community appeal. Picture: Exmoor National Park

The bridge over the river at Lynmouth was replaced earlier this year by Exmoor National Park Authority and the Lyn Community Development Trust following a £65,000 community campaign.

The video tells the story of Woodside Bridge, thought to date back to the 1850s, in the words of those involved in securing its future.

With plans for a public celebration cancelled due to coronavirus, it acts as a virtual opening and heartfelt thank you to the community and all those involved in raising and contributing to the funds needed.

It attracted celebrity backing from Julia Bradbury, and later Caroline Quentin whose Facebook video appeal received nearly 17,000 views.

There's been a crossing at Woodside in Lynmouth for more than a century.There's been a crossing at Woodside in Lynmouth for more than a century.

Donations soon came flooding in and after two years the appeal had exceeded its target.

The new bridge was installed in May this year under stringent Covid security measures, followed by works on the surrounding paths to give better access and increase accessibility for pushchairs and wheelchairs.

Wood from the national park’s own woodlands in Burridge was used in the build.

Dan James, sustainable economy manager at Exmoor National Park said: “At the start bridging the gap seemed like an impossible dream.

Another old version of the Woodside Bridge crossing at Lynmouth in around 1903.Another old version of the Woodside Bridge crossing at Lynmouth in around 1903.

“But by joining forces with the community and thanks to the generosity of so many people it is great to now see the new bridge in place.

“While we would love to thank everyone in person, we hope this short video will provide a lasting record of this fantastic achievement.”

David Wilde, chairman of the Lyn Community Development Trust added: “The bridge forms a very important part of the community here so we were eager to see it reinstated.

“It forms part of a short circular walk enjoyed regularly by many local people and is also hugely important for tourism, situated as it is in the beautiful East Lyn Valley near the start of one of the area’s most popular walks to Watersmeet.”

Celebrity Caroline Quentin lent her support to the Woodside Bridge appeal at Lynmouth. Picture: Exmoor National ParkCelebrity Caroline Quentin lent her support to the Woodside Bridge appeal at Lynmouth. Picture: Exmoor National Park

The bridge is at the entrance to the East Lyn Valley just a short walk upstream from the main car park within Lynmouth. It features in one of 10 new Exmoor Explorer walks due to be launched later this year.

A string of boots decorated by Lynton CofE Primary School children was placed across the East Lyn River  to raise awareness of the appeal.A string of boots decorated by Lynton CofE Primary School children was placed across the East Lyn River to raise awareness of the appeal.

The LynTones donated all proceeds from their 2018 - 2019 performances to the Woodside Bridge Appeal.The LynTones donated all proceeds from their 2018 - 2019 performances to the Woodside Bridge Appeal.

Construction of  the new Woodside Bridge at Lynmouth in May 2020. Picture: Exmoor National ParkConstruction of the new Woodside Bridge at Lynmouth in May 2020. Picture: Exmoor National Park

Collecting timber sustainably from Burridge Woods to build the new Woodside Bridge at Lynmouth.Collecting timber sustainably from Burridge Woods to build the new Woodside Bridge at Lynmouth.