Public want to go the Marshwiggle Way after naming major new pathway as part of Connswater Community Greenway

Earlier this year the EastSide Partnership, in association with Belfast City Council, launched a campaign to name three bridges and a major new pathway as part of the Connswater Community Greenway. The public put forward their suggestions and a panel of judges then selected the top 2 under each category which went out to public vote last month. 

The names relate to three bridges in Greenville Park and Orangefield Park, and the new greenway pathway that extends from Orangefield Park to Braniel.  The public have been voting for their favourites and the winning names can now be revealed as Collyard’s Bridge, receiving 62% of the vote; Avalon Bridge with 70%, Kingfisher 50.5%; and Marshwiggle Way for the new pathway with 68% of the vote. 

The final selections were approved by Belfast City Council’s Parks and Leisure Committee earlier today, subject to ratification at the next full council meeting in early May.

Here are some explanations of the winning names and the structures they are named after:

Above: Collyard’s Bridge (Existing bridge connecting Greenville Park to Orangefield Park)

Collyard’s was the name given locally to the Orchard and the house that once existed in the grounds of Orangefield Park. 

Above: Avalon Bridge (New Bridge connecting Greenville Park to Orangefield Park)

This word has links to east Belfast’s Van Morrison who has an album called ‘Avalon Sunset’.  This album also includes the track Orangefield which was written about this particular area. Van Morrison grew up in this part of the City. 

Above: Kingfisher Bridge (New bridge at Orangefield Lane)

Kingfishers are one of the fantastic species of birds that live on the banks of the Knock River in Orangefield Park. Kingfishers are small unmistakable bright blue and orange birds. They fly low over water and hunt fish from riverside perches, occasionally hovering above the water’s surface. 

Above: Marshwiggle Way (New pathway connecting Orangefield Park to Braniel)

Marshwiggle are a race that inhabits the marshes of northern Narnia, south of the River Shribble from The Chronicles of Narnia books written by east Belfast man C.S. Lewis.     

Puddleglum is the well-known Marshwiggle who is a lead character in The Silver Chair.  His great strength is that even though he doesn't always see how good can come of a situation he nevertheless will stay at his post, will do what needs to be done and in the Silver Chair his act of selfless heroism saves the whole enterprise.   

Anne McMurray, Connswater Community Greenway Trust said:

“The Naming Panel had a really tough decision in shortlisting the suggested names and deciding which were appropriate and relevant to the various sites. We were overwhelmed by the volume of interest in this campaign from the public. We would like to thank everyone for taking part, both in submitting name entries and in voting.

This campaign has been a wonderful opportunity for east Belfast and the broader Belfast community to put their stamp on, take ownership of and name these bridges and pathway. We hope these will become an important asset to the character and infrastructure of east Belfast.”  

Nigel Grimshaw, Director of City and Neighbourhood Services with Belfast City Council, went further and spoke of the wider project: 

“The Connswater Community Greenway will transform lives by improving accessibility and providing a valuable and much-needed resource to those living in the surrounding areas, as well as inviting visitors to explore what this part of our city has to offer. 

“Bridges and pathways are critical in connecting people and places, so we are pleased that the local community has been involved in choosing these vital connections. 

“The council is delighted to be working with the EastSide Partnership and other partners to deliver this scheme, which is a key part of our plans to create a modern infrastructure for Belfast and bring new opportunities to our neighbourhoods.” 

The new pathway to be named will be the next section of the Greenway to open later this year, following the completion of works in Orangefield and Victoria Parks last year. Farrans Construction is currently undertaking Phase 2 construction works with works continuing at major sections including the C.S. Lewis Square at Holywood Arches, Avoniel, The Hollow at Elmgrove, Mersey Street, and many other sites across east Belfast to better connect people and places, with the greenway providing 16km of new cycle and walkways and 23 new or improved bridges and crossings upon completion by mid-2017.   

The panel confirmed that there will be a number of further structures to be named along the Connswater Community Greenway during 2016. 

The Connswater Community Greenway is a £40 million funded project. It was conceived by the EastSide Partnership and is funded by Big Lottery Fund, Belfast City Council, Department for Social Development, DARD Rivers Agency, and management of the contract was taken on by Belfast City Council with agreement of all the partners.