The East Suffolk Rivers area of 1,364 km2 encompasses the valleys, waterbodies, tributaries and estuaries of the Rivers Gipping (Orwell), Deben, Alde and Ore, Thorpeness Hundred, Yox, Blyth and Lothingland Hundred.
This area is mostly rural with significant urban areas at Felixstowe, Ipswich, Woodbridge, Wickham Market, Stowmarket, Saxmundham, Halesworth, Southwold and Kessingland.
Agriculture is the predominant land use (root veg and pig farming in the east and arable). Other pockets of land-based industry exist, including food processing, milling, malting and the manufacture of farm machinery and fertilisers.
The attached report by the Essex and Suffolk Rivers Trust looks at the current state of these Suffolks Rivers.
By Liz Hattan
The East Anglian Daily Times recently published an article on sewage overflows into Suffolk rivers (October 26th 2021), highlighting those rivers with the highest number of spills in 2020. The River Deben had 40 spills at its Deben Road overflow, totalling 18 hours. Other rivers such as the River Thet fared worse with over 1100 hours of spills at Badwell Ash, and some sites in the other parts of the country have seen thousands of hours of spills (see Rivers Trust interactive map for local data ‘Is my river fit to play in?’ https://arcg.is/19LiCa). Nationally, the number of spills is high with over 400,000 monitored spills (around 3.1million hours) in 2020 into English rivers and many more unmonitored ones.
So why are there are so many spills, why does it matter and what is being done to address the problem? This is a high profile issue with considerable political, media and public scrutiny. This article looks at some of the challenges. Continue reading →