The Stratford St Mary Parish Council is pleased to report that with new fencing installed and the RST landing stage now safe to use, the River Garden is again fully accessible.

A small area of the garden was planted with wild flowers last Autumn in the hope that they will naturalise and proliferate over time.

The planted area has been signed and visitors are requested to avoid walking on it.

Further developments to improve the amenity of the garden are planned for this spring and whilst the council will make every effort to ensure that the necessary work is undertaken as unobtrusively as possible, we apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused. 

Although the localised flooding around the landing stage has subsided, the grass in that area of the bank has been eroded and the area can quickly become very slippery in wet weather. Particular care is recommended when walking close to the river or accessing the stage.

Please also see note re handrails, below.





The River Garden landing stage (now the property of the River Stour Trust) suffered severe damage during a period of heavy use last summer. Reconstruction commenced at the beginning of October 2020 and the landing platform is now available for use. Users are recommended to excercise caution when doing so and are reminded that they do so at their own risk 


Due to a shortage of suitable timber, handrails and other parts of the planned superstructure have yet to be built. Trust volunteers will complete the work as soon as materials have become available, Covid restrictions and weather conditions, permitting. 

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


The Parish Council took 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 amenity.  The location provides opportunity to see close up the, usually,  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. In this latter connection, the Parish Council gratefully acknowledges the support of the River Stour Trust, whose willingness to take on responsibility for the landing stage has greatly assisted this project to fruition.


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 Stratford St Mary River Garden.

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 Stratford St Mary 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 leaving the garden.

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.