The River Garden landing stage (now the property of the River Stour Trust) has suffered severe damage during a period of heavy use, this summer. The now unsafe structure will be removed starting the week commencing Monday 28th September 2020 and reconstructed by Trust volunteers during October and  November, Covid restrictions, weather conditions and material availability, permitting. 

Please check back with this page for information with regard to future availability. 

Background Information

The Parish Council has recently taken on responsibility for the management and maintenance of this small area on the bank of the beautiful River Stour, so as to ensure its continued availability as a community ammenity.  The location provides opportunity to see close up, the gently flowing river that is otherwise hidden for much of its journey through our village and many residents value the facility it offers to launch boats and canoes so close to home.

Residents and visitors alike are welcome to avail themselves of this amenity, but attention is drawn to the behaviours and actions set out below, that the Council believes to be necessary for the safe, socially acceptable use of the amenity.

Please observe them at all times and help to ensure continued access.   


Stratford St Mary River Garden

Conditions of Use

This area of river bank has been acquired under licence from Northumbrian Water Limited and is maintained as a local amenity by 

the Stratford St Mary Parish Council.

Continued provision of this amenity is dependent upon users behaving in accordance with the following conditions of use and access to any part of the garden is contingent upon their acceptance.


Access to the River

The launching of rowing boats, canoes, paddle boards or similar craft is open only to correctly licensed or otherwise authorised, craft and is only permitted from the landing stage, which is owned and maintained by the River Stour Trust. Further information on access to our river.

Such launching is entirely at the launcher’s own risk and the Stratford St Mary Parish Council do not accept responsibility for accidents or injuries sustained in doing so.

No craft shall be launched or landed directly from or onto, the river bank.


The following actions are prohibited anywhere within the River Garden:  



Lighting or using, fires or barbecues;

Discarding waste food or litter

(any unconsumed foodstuff or drinks and their containers or wrappings shall be removed on leaving the garden);

Playing music of any type; 

Erecting tents or gazebos, camping of any nature involving an overnight stay;

Parking or storing of trailers for any longer than it takes to unload them;

Keeping or storing equipment or materials for extended periods;

Playing games involving the throwing or passing of balls or other objects;

Engaging in any activities undertaken for commercial purposes or financial gain.



Children under 16 are to be accompanied by an adult at all times while in the River Garden.

Although usually appearing benign, the River Stour can be fast flowing and unpredictable in bad weather with the added risk of a weir and sluice a few hundred metres downriver from the River Garden. Care should always be taken when moving around the garden, particularly near to the river bank and especially in wet conditions.

The road that runs alongside the River Garden is much used and at this point bends to an extent that makes it difficult to see approaching vehicles when emerging from the garden onto the road. Please be especially observant when doing so.

Parking vehicles alongside the Garden greatly reduces visibility and can exacerbate an already risky situation. 

Please do not park alongside the River Garden.


Finally, an Exhortation

Please ensure that wherever you do park in the vicinity of the River Garden, you do so with care and thought for those who live here and provide this amenity for your enjoyment.