THE new handmade footbridge spanning the River Brathay at Skelwith near Ambleside will be officially opened tomorrow.

The Woodburn Bridge - as much a work of art as it is a structure - was built by the renowned Furness architectural metalworker Chris Brammall.

Made from both wood and metal, the bridge will cross the river just above Skelwith Force close to the B5343.

It links to a new footpath through ancient woodland on the Coniston side of the Brathay, creating an alternative pedestrian route away from the road. Known as a "miles without stiles" route, it will also be suitable for wheelchairs and prams.

The bridge is named after local man Trevor Woodburn, who suggested the original idea for the route in 1998.

The bridge will be officially opened at 10.45am.