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‘Going with the flow – tides and the Deben estuary’

16th October 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 27th October 2019 @ 7:00 pm


Most people have experience of the impact of tides on beaches where land meets the open sea but many know much less about the major influence tides have on estuaries such as the Deben.  This ambitious project aims to increase appreciation and enjoyment of the estuary environment through a wide range of information and activities (serious and fun) that enable people of all ages to gain an understanding of why tides occur, the impact of tidal flow on the ecology of the estuary, tidal terminology and forces involved in navigating the river.  It is designed to appeal to experts and to people who find science uninteresting or opaque. The project is being supported through a grant from the Suffolk Coasts and Heaths AONB Sustainable Development Fund and sponsorship including Dance East, Woodbridge Arts Society, Suffolk Cottage Holidays and Drain Doctor.  Plus many volunteers across various organisations


19 October – 27 October 10am – 4pm in the Longshed free entry  

417 people visited in the first two days of the exhibition, here are some examples of what they said “very interesting! Great to see so much variety under one roof”, “very informative, not stuffy”, “so well presented”,“very enjoyable”, “stewards were very informative”, “..will return”, “wish I had more time”,“will certainly return”

  • Astronomy – effect of moon – models. Farlingaye High School Science Department
  • Tidal Energy – Types and examples. Farlingaye High School Science Department
  • RSPB – Deben Estuary birds
  • Nautical Corner – understanding tidal terms including games “Deben Journey”, “What’s the tide doing” photos and a paper challenge,  plus background images of the river.
  • Changes in the River Deben – maps, images and information, floodwalls, formation of saltmarsh, shifting shingle etc.
  • Access now- planning a trip with a large barge has changed little – Sea Change Blue Mermaid now and then
  • Historical Access/board – interesting stories posts, jetties etc.
  • How far can you row with and against the tide
  • Images of the Deben at different states of the tide – drone shots commissioned to show what happens as the tide rises.

27 October 7pm  in the Longshed “Imagining and Managing the Deben Estuary into the future” – there is no charge but places are limited so please click on the buy tickets buttons below to reserve a seat

Meeting challenges, such as incremental sea level rise and an increase in the frequency of tidal surges, is becoming more urgent. Pressure for new housing is creating greater need for access and recreation for a larger population, which has a potentially big impact upon the tranquility of the Deben Estuary.  

New terms of reference for the value of natural systems such as “natural capital” and “ecosystem services” have become standard. The complexity of estuarine systems, affecting farming, leisure and flood risk means that we must identify sources of funding for estuary management projects into the future. These are extremely challenging times but we are well placed to build upon previous successes. Local political organisation has changed in 2019.  There is a new, merged East Suffolk Council and a new local plan which demands a revision of the existing Estuary Management Plan; change will be a key theme for the revised Plan.
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Chairman: Cllr Eamonn O’Nolan

Introductory speakers – evidence from recent research:

Dr Helene Burningham, Coastal Scientist University College London – historical environmental change on the Deben estuary

Dr Ben Evans, Cambridge Coastal Research Unit – the importance of salt marsh in the estuary ecosystem, understanding and predicting the causes and consequences of change

Q&A with expert panel:

Christine Block, Chair Deben Estuary Partnership

David Kemp, Environment Agency

Peter Cosgrove, Suffolk Marine Pioneer

Sarah Zins, Chair River Deben Association

Free entry – please click the link below or ring 01394 610983 to reserve a seat
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Sustainable Development Fund





16th October 2019 @ 7:00 pm
27th October 2019 @ 7:00 pm

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