The estuary is important for its wintering wading and waterbirds.  For more information see Deben Estuary SPA Review, Suffolk Ornithologists and Wetland Bird Survey. 

See The Deben Autumn 2017 for an article on seals in the Deben.

“Otter spotting” project

In autumn 2022 the RDA Committee initiated conversations with the Suffolk Otter Group and Penny Hemphill (independent ecologist) regarding the merits of starting an “otter spotting” project on the River Deben. This was agreed in principle with a view to being able to use the data as an indicator of river health. The RDA invested in 2 specialist wildlife cameras to kick the project off. The funding for one of the cameras was very generously donated by way of legacy from the late Gwen Nelson and for which we are most grateful. The Deben Magazine (Autumn 2023) has a short article about the project so far and we are pleased to share some footage of some of the initial findings. Updates to follow!



Protecting wildlife when canoeing, kayaking and paddleboarding on the Deben

We are very fortunate that the river Deben is designated as being of international importance for wintering birds and has national protection for both breeding and wintering birds. We have brent geese, redshanks, curlews, avocets and lapwings, to name but a few.

In order to protect our wonderful estuarine environment and its wildlife, please look at the attached maps to see which are the most sensitive wildlife areas to avoid – areas to avoid.