The River Deben Association’s Annual General Meeting, which was to have been held on Thursday 30th April, will no longer be held in the form of a physical gathering. If we can find a satisfactory way to hold it in an alternative format we will do so, and if not, it will be postponed. I am happy to say, though, that Joeske van Walsum will be acting Chair from 30th April until he can be formally confirmed in that post.
In the meantime, I hope that the new edition of The Deben magazine gives you some happy reading in the safety of your own home. We send you our best wishes in this uncertain time, and please do contact us if you need help or support.
The Woodbridge Riverside Trust is putting on an ambitious programme of events called “Going with the Flow – Tides and the Deben Estuary”.
There is an evening talk on 16th October and a tide-related exhibition will be open every day between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. in the Longshed in Woodbridge from 19th to 27th October, as well as several other lectures and events focussing on the Deben.
The final event in the Community Hall on the evening of Sunday 27 October brings together coastal researchers and local experts to discuss options and challenges for managing the River Deben in the future.
We will all be aware that over the years, the cost of things has tended to rise. An exception to this however, is our annual subscription which has remained fixed for some 14 years. At our Annual General Meeting last spring, a proposal for a small increase in the subscription, to be applied from April 2020 was agreed unanimously. The new fees for next year will be £6 for a single and £10 for a couple.
As the majority of members pay by Standing Order, it will of course be necessary to advise the bank accordingly.
The bi-annual River Deben Association talk was delivered by David Kemp, Coastal Team Leader, Environment Agency (EA) to an audience of over 100 members.
When a flood is forecast, the key time is the preparation within the 24 hours before the storm arrives. His fascinating account took us through the EA’s planning in the East Anglia Incident room whilst preparing for the surge of 5th December 2013.
As I write this, the wind is gusting over 40 knots and reminds me of one of my grandfather’s stories, which always began “It was a cold and stormy night, and the wind was howling in the rigging”. I hope that by the time you receive this magazine, the wind is no longer whistling through your shrouds and the Spring looks set fair for river pleasures.
Groundwork Suffolk and East Suffolk Councils are working together on behalf of the Greenprint Forum to engage the community and inspire awareness of the local natural heritage of the Rivers Deben, Orwell and Waveney. The project is designed to help people reduce surface water pollution entering local rivers and to improve awareness of the negative impact it has on wildlife and habitats. It aims to encourage all members of the community to work together to make a difference. A key element of the campaign is reducing litter, particularly with a focus on cigarette butts. Cigarette butts are commonly littered in streets and if they enter the surface water drains, the butts flow through the system and directly contaminate the local River. This why our key message of the campaign is ‘only rain down the drain’. Groundwork is providing information and practical advice on how to reduce environmental pollution to residents, businesses and schools. A number of events and activities have already taken place with more to come. Public drains are also being marked with a yellow fish symbol as a reminder that all litter or pollution entering the system can cause direct contamination of our rivers and streams.