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