Dedham Bridge

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This point looks out over Dedham Vale towards Flatford. Photos from this location will help us capture visitors, seasonal change and flooding.

What am I looking at?

The River Stour, which you can see here, marks the border between Essex and Suffolk.

To the south of the river lies the historic town of Dedham and to the north is Dedham Heath, which is now predominantly grazed pasture.

In the distance, swathes of moisture-loving trees such as willow and alder occupy the meandering riverbanks and characterise this famously idyllic landscape.

What lives here?

Dedham Vale also contains black poplar (one of Britain’s most endangered native tree species) and ash tree canopies provide habitat for bullfinches, woodpeckers and owls.

Otters are the top predator in the area, hopping between the river and its banks in search of fish, frogs, newts. Otters will even predate waterbirds such as coots and moorhens, given half a chance….

Looking back…

The River Stour became navigable in the 17th century, when an Act of Parliament in 1705 approved the construction of 13 original locks between Sudbury and Mistley.

This allowed horse drawn barges (or lighters), which could typically carry up to 13 tonnes of goods, to negotiate along the river and its tow paths.

These scenes inspired renowned local painter, John Constable, who regularly featured lighters, lightermen, horses and locks in his work.

Walks and more

As one of Constable Country’s most well-known villages, Dedham has lots to offer. The high street and church are popular attractions, as is Sir Alfred Munnings Art Museum – a bustling art and craft centre and local history must-see.

The River Stour and Constable Country Walk is a popular 1.9 miles (3km) route in the area. To view this and other walks in the area, red our Dedham Explorer Guide.