Cross Keys Swing Bridge, Sutton Bridge, Lincolnshire


The Arnie Broughton Walk

July 6 2011

Arnie Broughton Walk

Update June 2011

View From Railway Lane Entrance

A large area has now been cleared

Litter - Empty alcohol bottles and cans on the Football Pitch

May 22 2011

Arnie Broughton Walk

Update May 2011

Arnie Broughton Walk in May 2011
Work is  obviously in progress.

Arnie Broughton Walk in May 2011
Work progressing.

Apr 25 2011

Arnie Broughton Walk & the War Memorial Park
Update April 2011

With Spring well into its stride with the trees coming into leaf so quickly now, the Memorial Park is beginning to look good, and it is pleasing to see how often the children's playground there is being used. The seats provided by the Friends of Sutton Bridge Playing Fields and Open Spaces have provided another useful amenity.

Sutton Bridge Memorial Park in 2011

Since the beginning of April good things have been happening in the Arnie Broughton Walk. Clearance of the dead Japanese Knotweed has begun, and although it all still looks in a miserable state, a big difference has already been made. It would appear that the dead material is being cleared little by little in a responsible way and being burnt in a controlled way on site. It is going to take quite a while to make this the attractive walk, it once was, but someone is working very hard here, and making a huge difference. Many of the regular park users are very pleased to see what is now being done.

Arnie Broughton Walk in April 2011

It is most unfortunate that some irresponsible people have seen fit to deposit their unwanted beds and other furniture in the walk. If they have the energy to take it this far, why could they not take it to the collecting point in the village?

Feb 7 2011

Arnie Broughton Walk & the War Memorial Park
Update February 2011

With the late fall of leaves from trees in the Memorial Park, it has to be said that it is not looking at its best this early in February, but I am sure many of us who have gardens are having a similar problem with fallen leaves this particular year.

Good news is that a newly formed group made up of local residents and calling themselves “Friends of Sutton Bridge Playing Fields and Open Spaces”, are making a noticeable difference in both the Park and Arnie Broughton Walk. New bench seats have been placed around the Park and parts cleared on the Arnie Broughton Walk where new benches have been strategically placed along there too. There still remains much clearance work to be done. If a few residents such as this group can make a difference, just think what a huge impact could be made if more residents took a pride in the place too. One only has to look at the difference to the town that the Big Bloomers have already made.

Arnie Broughton Walk - February 2011Arnie Broughton Walk - February 2011

The Park contains one of the best equipped children’s playgrounds. An enterprising resident of Sutton Bridge has placed plastic carrier bags on the fence of the playground and it is good to see that these are being used for the purpose for which they are intended – to collect litter. It is sad to note that when other litter bins have been placed in both the Park and the Walk, these have been damaged beyond repair or stolen.

Memorial Park - February 2011 Memorial Park - February 2011

The upkeep of the Memorial Park and the Arnie Broughton Walk may well be the responsibility of the Parish Council, but until they do the huge clearance work that still needs to be done we can all play our part in taking our litter home and cleaning up after our own dogs when we are walking them in the Park.

Jul 11 2010

Arnie Broughton Walk - Weedkiller Spraying Effects Update (2)

It is now over a year since the spraying of the whole length of the south side of the Arnie Broughton Walk with a potent weed killer.

Arnie Broughton Walk a year after weedkiller spraying

In February 2010 it was asked of the Parish Council how much the indiscriminate spraying of the Arnie Broughton Walk was costing and what measures were being taken to ensure that it would be in reasonable condition this year. The answer was that there were no plans at present (March 2010) to carry out any work on the Arnie Broughton Walk. This fits with the way this Parish Council, obsessed by trying to get the Road Enhancement Scheme scrapped, ignored the problem of knotweed for so long and allowed it to get out of hand.

The east end of the Walk, near Churchgate, now looks in reasonable condition with woodland plants growing at quite a pace and covering last year's devastation. Birds, butterflies and other insects are being attracted back too, so it was quite pleasant to walk through that part of the park in the sunshine of last week, so long as one did not look back at the debris of the other end of the Walk.

The west end of the Walk, approached from Railway Lane, still looks like a disaster area with the dead trees lying on the ground among the dead growth of last year’s spraying of the Knotweed, brambles, etc. However, the Knotweed is still flourishing and at long last our Parish Council has decided that something should be done to eradicate it.

Dead trees in the Arnie Broughton Walk

At the June Parish Council meeting, it was pleasing to see that South Holland District Council’s Conservation Officer was present to answer the Parish Council’s questions and also to give advice on the correct procedures that should now be taken. Such was the questioning of this gentleman - I began to wonder if I was in a court of law and not a council chamber - that I almost came to the conclusion that the whole problem of the Knotweed was his fault. Fortunately, our Parish Council then had a reasonable discussion on what should now be done. One of our councillors stated that he and another councillor had sprayed around the edges of each Knot Weed patch with a potent weed killer, but of course only on the leaves of the actual plant.

The Conservation Officer advised that the only way to treat this particular plant is to cut down the top growth and inject special chemicals into the hollow stems so that it gets right down to the roots. To eradicate it entirely would probably take about seven years, such is the hold this plant has, and the best course of action would be to engage the services of an approved contractor specialised in the eradication of the weed. However, the Knotweed does need to be contained in the meantime.

The damaged Arnie Broughton  memorial plaque plinth
The memorial plaque to Arnie Broughton - damaged by vandals many years ago

In the 6th July issue of the Lincolnshire Free Press it was reported that ridding Sutton Bridge of the aggressive weed infestation could cost the PC as much as £50,000, money which our Parish Council claims not to have. Meanwhile it was agreed that a budget of £2,000 to spray round the edges of the patch to contain the Knotweed be made available as soon as possible. It's perhaps worth remembering that tinkering with the Road Enhancement Scheme will cost £45,000 - now there's a way of paying for the knotweed problem.

There are well over 1,100 pages on the subject of Japanese Knotweed as well as lists of approved specialised contractors to be found on the Internet. On many pages it is advised that removal of the Knotweed from any site should only be carried out by an approved contractor because of the danger of further contamination.

Feb 25 2010

Litter and fly tipping is a big problem in Sutton Bridge

A recent walk in the Arnie Broughton Walk revealed the damage to the Scott Miracle-Gro fence which has clearly not been properly maintained. Complaints from the Parish Council about repairing this have apparently achieved no response. No wonder Scott Miracle-Gro have problems with loss of their stock.

Litter and debris in Arnie Broughton Walk

The killing off of the brambles in the Arnie Broughton Walk has revealed another kind of debris, which is reputedly left over from when the area was part of the railway system. Surely this should be cleared away? It cannot possibly have any significant architectural interest. If a place looks like a dump, then it will become one. This is already happening: this designated nature conservation area is being used to dump household and garden waste.

Litter and debris in Arnie Broughton Walk

A walk around all of the parks has shown that litter and graffitti is a real problem. It is up to all of us to take a pride in our town and encourage everyone to ensure that litter is taken home, not thrown down!

At the Sutton Bridge Parish Council Meeting on Tuesday, 23rd February, the question of the state of Miracle-gro’s fencing between their property and the Arnie Broughton Walk was discussed. Many attempts by the Parish Council to get Miracle-gro to repair adequately and to maintain its boundary fence have been met with very little positive response. It seems that even advice given by both the Fire and Rescue Service and the Police has been disregarded.

A visit to the American corporate website of Miracle-gro ( makes interesting reading.

Their mission statement does not seem to reflect the situation in Sutton Bridge (our highlights)

Dedicated to a Beautiful World
At The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, we believe in the life-enhancing qualities that gardens and green spaces bring to people and our environment. As the leader in the lawn and garden industry, it is our belief that we can make a positive and lasting impact on our environment and the communities where we live and work.

Being a good corporate citizen is multidimensional. For ScottsMiracle-Gro, social responsibility means developing products in balance with the environment, giving back to our communities and creating a dynamic workforce for our associates. None of these actions are mutually exclusive - in fact, each is directly aligned with one another.

Through the creation of a culture that values honesty, integrity and transparency, ScottsMiracle-Gro and our 6,000 associates are truly ‘Dedicated to a Beautiful World.’

It should be a fairly simple matter to erect a substantial fence around their property…

… and the paragraph in which they dedicate themselves to supporting and helping others in the Community is also interesting. Sutton Bridge has a number of projects that require just the kind of Community support they are advocating. Perhaps a little investment in the youth of Sutton Bridge might reduce the problem of vandalism that seems to beset their site?

Our Commitment to the Community
Supporting our communities and helping others is important to The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company. As a leader in the neighborhoods, cities and towns where we operate, ScottsMiracle-Gro takes to heart the phrase, "find a need and fill it," a belief firmly held by Miracle-Gro founder Horace Hagedorn. Today, that spirit of giving continues through our associates.

Our community outreach and philanthropic activities focus on educational opportunities for underserved youth as well as support of public green spaces, community gardens and environmental education programs. As an expression of this dedication, our Company contributes its financial support and products, in addition to associate time and energy, to a variety of community and philanthropic activities.

What should we, the citizens of Sutton Bridge make of this?

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Feb 17 2010

Arnie Broughton Walk - Weedkiller Spraying Effects Update (1)

A resident of Sutton Bridge, having read our web page on the Arnie Broughton Walk, suggested it was time for an update, especially to show the "unintended beneficial effects" the indiscriminate spraying has had.

I went along there today and took a few more photographs. With winter here now, everything has died back, so it looks more like a disaster area than before. Perhaps one of the benefits is that the litter and debris is more visible, but do be careful where you walk, as the dog fouling is as bad as ever.

Arnie Broughton Walk - February 2010 Arnie Broughton Walk - February 2010
Arnie Broughton Walk - February 2010 Arnie Broughton Walk - February 2010


The Arnie Broughton Walk

To introduce our page on this particular subject, we have been fortunate in obtaining a cutting taken from The Spalding Guardian issued on 22nd February, 1992. Those who are familiar with this part of the Memorial Park would recognise immediately the area where this actual photograph was taken.

Arnie Broughton press cutting from The Spalding Guardian 22/2/1992

Observations of a New Resident

December 2009!

When I first walked through the park some seventeen years ago and discovered this walk, it was delightful, especially in springtime seeing the daffodils lining the pathway, and snowdrops peeping out beneath the young trees as well as noting some Japanese knotweed there too. Late summertime was when the best of the blackberries were ripe for picking, for pies and jams, or just to taste on the way through. Surprisingly, being so near the A17, it was a tranquil place too. It was a bird watcher’s paradise. There were rabbits, squirrels and other small animals rustling about in the undergrowth, butterflies, moths and all sorts of other insects flitting about. Until a few years ago the walk was generally well maintained and well used. The undergrowth cut back regularly, keeping the walkway open as a small haven from the traffic filled roads on either side.

Not having been able to walk through the Arnie Broughton Walk for some few years, it came as a surprise when I did so last year to see just how overgrown it was. I went back again with a camera to take photographs to show to the Parish Council how out of hand the growth had become and making it difficult to pass someone coming through from the opposite direction.

Arnie Broughton Walk overgrown

On taking my photographs I became aware that some of the plants appeared to be in quite a sorry state perhaps caused by a prolonged dry spell or vandals spraying some obnoxious liquid around. Commenting on this to another user of the Memorial Park, I was informed that the Parish Council had ordered that whole of the south side of the Arnie Broughton Walk be sprayed with potent weed killer because of the dangers of the Japanese knotweed. This irresponsible, expensive exercise of spraying will not kill off the knotweed permanently. What it has done is cause an enormous amount of damage, which may be permanent, to young trees and much of the wildlife that inhabited that area, and which will take years to recover.

Arnie Broughton Walk suffering from weedkiller spraying Arnie Broughton Walk suffering from weedkiller spraying

The accompanying photographs, which were taken just a few weeks apart, and show just how devastating an act of vandalism this indiscriminate spraying was.

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