COP 27 or cop-out? – A talk about Climate Change by Lord Deben – Dec 8th

“Carbon Capture” reproduced by kind permission of James Ferguson at the Financial Times

COP 27 or cop-out?

What can we do to help reach Net Zero?

A talk about Climate Change by Lord Deben

Thursday December 8th 7pm, Seckford Theatre, Woodbridge


The River Deben Association invites you to its Autumn talk by the Rt Hon Lord Deben, Chair of the Climate Change Committee. It is an independent body that advises the UK government on reducing emissions and on response to the impacts of climate change. As chair for over 10 years Lord Deben is one of the most authoritative voices in the UK on climate and wider environmental issues. His previous roles have included Secretary of State for the Environment (1993-97) and MP for Suffolk Coastal (1979-2010).

Topics will include

  • what did COP27 achieve?
  • The role of the Climate Change Committee
  • What do we mean by Net Zero?
  • Progress towards the UK’s Net Zero Strategy
  • What can we as individuals do to make a positive difference?

Entry is free for RDA members, £5 for non-members (tickets available on the door)

The Cormorant

By Sally Westwood

The Cormorant has a distinctive flight outline. Their body is narrow and linear, with outstretched wings. A Cormorant glided past me along the course of the River Deben, descending down to the surface of the water, staring ahead. The bird’s feet, webbed between four toes landed on the water, on stretched out, short legs. Water splashing loudly on impact. The feet touched the water at the base, or heel of the legs, with the rest of the foot held upright, to act as a break to landing. Using their feet like water skis. The extended, raised wings also slowed down the landing, gradually closing as the bird completely crashed on the water. Continue reading

Deben Fish Survey August 2022

By Richard Verrill

It is well recognised that estuaries provide essential breeding grounds and nurseries for many fish species. They also provide corridors for migratory species. Estuaries provide a very dynamic environment with constant changes in tide, temperature and salinity. Intertidal areas provide particularly important refuge and feeding grounds for small fish.The variety of the shoreline in the Deben provides an abundance of different nursery environments with sandy beaches, shingle beaches, mudflats and salt marsh. Continue reading

A walk through the landscape of the Upper Deben Valley – Brandeston, Monewden and Cretingham

By Sue Ryder-Richardson

Download Walk

Map: OS Explorer 212 TM 251604. Start: Bridleway on Kettleburgh Road at east end of Brandeston village. Distance approx 6.5 miles.

The Upper Deben Valley in August 2022 is biscuit dry. The small rills, the source of this beautiful river above Debenham, are dried, fords and water splashes empty, yet further downstream in the heart of the farming countryside of Brandeston*, Cretingham, Monewden, as if by magic, the Deben has gathered some water, and flows gently through its green, tree lined valley.

Continue reading

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News from the Noughties, Part I

by Bertie Wheen

If you haven’t read the first post in this series, may I direct you to Once Upon a Time…? What follows will make much more sense with its context, but the TL;DR is that I’ve been improving the accessibility of our Magazine page (which hosts digital versions of our biannual magazine, née newsletter) by indexing the old editions – or, more accurately, contentsing, but that somehow doesn’t have the same ring to it. Last time I had indexed the 1990s, and I’ve now done the same for the 2000s. I’d like to recommend that, better than reading these accompanying posts, you read the magazines/newsletters themselves. (I promise it’s a more interesting thing to do than you might imagine!)

To the uninitiated, The Deben might appear to be an unassuming little publication, but it has been consistently produced since 1990 (which was, though I’m sure you won’t want to hear it, over 30 years ago), and from the start it has been filled with articles that were not only interesting to contemporary readers, but – as I have been discovering by going through the back catalogue – still are today! Many are presciently relevant, and others are historically significant; there are contributions from then that read like they were written now, and there are others that could only have been written then, including reminiscences from those who had known the Deben the longest, and who shared some of their memories of it from deep time – from times that now few, if any, are old enough to remember. I’m incredibly glad that the latter are preserved in our archives, and I think the former speaks to the environmental consciousness that we have as a community, which we have had since long before the recent general awareness of such issues. I should add that there are still more articles that don’t necessarily fit into either of these categories, but that are worth a modern reader’s time. One of the joys of The Deben, or the RDA Newsletter as it was then, is the strange, quirky pieces that appear in it. Perhaps they might not be everyone’s style, but they don’t need to be. They are the variety and flavour that turned what could otherwise have been a dry document containing nothing but committee meeting minutes and end-of-year accounts (both of which were included in the Newsletter days) into something rather charming. There are some wonderful weirdos on this river, and it would be worse without them.
Continue reading

Plants of the Deben – a plea for help

by Julia Jones


Louisa and Ned, Visiting from Berlin

It was June 4th the Saturday of the Platinum Jubilee Central Weekend – a bright but extremely blowy day on the River.  My brother and I had hoped to take his seven year old daughter out to sea on Peter Duck but it would have been her first time and we didn’t want to put her off. So, while we waiting to go ashore and join the Felixstowe Ferry Sailing Club celebrations we went for a walk to Bawdsey beach. We followed the path from the dinghy park, behind the bushes and through the dry, shrubby area where rabbits nibble and wild flowers spread. Continue reading