Dicotyledonous Plants  of the local Shingle Seashore

By Peter Jones

Background to this article

In 2022 Julia Jones took photos of some plants growing on the beach on the Bawdsey Side of the river deben and asked members of the RDA to help with identification [Plants of the Deben – a plea for help – River Deben Association]. 

Bawdsey Beach, July 2022

One of the problems of doing so was because some of the photos were not very sharp.  The usual reason for this if they were taken on a smartphone is not the quality of the camera but because smartphones are very light, have to be held away from the body in order to see the screen, are difficult to keep absolutely still,  particularly if it is windy (which it usually is at the seaside), so move very slightly during the exposure (the problem varies slightly with the lighting conditions – exposures are longer in lower light conditions, so even very slight movement can cause slight blurring). 

I therefore offered to try to obtain clearer photos using my DSLR camera which is heavier and held against the face in use.  I did not make special visits to take photos and it happened that I was never there when the few and sparsely scattered grasses were in flower, so they have not, so far, been included.   There are also some patches of lichen to be found here and there and I have neither expertise nor reference books to enable accurate identification of these (I suspect this is a group of organisms, like some larger fungi, where amateurs make quick confident identifications but experts are more guarded.).

Below are photographs of 14 species of dicotyledonous plants but there are certainly more, including a vetch (or perhaps two) photographed along with other plants but unidentifiable because they were not in flower and some other plants which were either before or after flowering at the times of my visits.  To compile a comprehensive list would require systematic searching of the area on visits at reasonably close intervals over an entire growing season or more.

Editors note: Dicotyledonous plants are one of the two main groups of all flowering plants. They typically have two embryonic leaves either side on the seed head Continue reading

Liz Kennedy 1929-2023 – A tribute

By Gareth Thomas

If ever there was a woman with the River Deben in her blood and Waldringfield in her system it was Liz Kennedy who passed away on December 22nd2023, having attained the grand age of 94 and having retained true independence until just over a year before.

On January 25th 2024 her family, her friends, her recent carers and the residents of Waldringfield turned out in huge numbers at All Saints’ Church, overflowing into a packed Church Hall to celebrate her life. She was a true lover of the River Deben and well-known to many members of the River Deben Association.  

Liz Kennedy at the helm of her clinker-built dinghy, Check  (photo by Roger Stollery)

Continue reading

River Deben Association – Annual General Meeting

Date 24 April 2024

Time 7.00 for 7.30pm

Woodbridge Quay Church, Quay Street, IP12 1BX


  1. Apologies for Absence
  2. Minutes of Last AGM (26 April 2023)
  3. Matters Arising
  4. Treasurer Report for year-ending 31 December 2023
  5. Appointment of Examiner for 2024 Accounts
  6. Election of officers and members of the Committee
    1. Standing for re-election after 4 years on the Committee: None at term limit
    2. Co-opted members standing for election
      1. Anna-Marie Sellon
      2. Tristan McConnell
    3. Re-election on to committee after 4 years:
      1. Liz Hattan
      2. Moray MacPhail
    4. Notice of standing down:
      1. Robert Simper (President)
      2. Jane Haviland (Co-Chair)
  7. Co-Chairs’ Report – see Spring Edition of ‘The Deben’

End of Business

– – – –

Welcome refreshments will be provided.

Following the Annual General Meeting, there will be a panel discussion with questions from the audience on water quality in the river.


Churches of the Deben – Part 2

By Gareth Thomas


It is best to read Part 1 before venturing further down river and, in particular, to refer to the time-line table.

Now I am neither a good photographer nor a professional historian, nor a geographer, cartologist or ecclesiast so there are very likely to be imperfections in my observations on the Churches of the Deben – massive imperfections, quite possibly. However, I am very happy to be corrected for that is a good way to learn. Continue reading

Citizen Science – Fish Survey 2023

Report from the Second Fish Survey conducted by the RDA and the Institute of Fisheries Management September 2023  

by Steve Colcough

A small group of RDA volunteers, led by Richard Verrill, have been working together with Steve Colcough from the Institute of Fisheries Management and others to collect up to date information about fish stocks in the Deben. RDA Journal readers will remember Richard’s report from August 2022 – Deben Fish Survey 2022 

Now, following a second sampling session from higher up the river, Steve Colcough has produced a formal report available here — River Deben fish surveys 2023. Continue reading

Ramsholt Churchyard September Flowers

By Julia Jones

A first glance Ramsholt Churchyard in September might look a little dull as the dry stalks of the spring and summer flowers die back toward the winter bleakness. But look just a little closer and there are plenty of small shy blooms continuing to offer specks of colour. 

Can you help us identify them? Please fill in as many spaces as you can on the form and press submit. That will send it to me (Julia Jones) [email protected].

I hope to publish the results in the next edition of The Deben magazine.

I don’t think we publish enough articles about the plants of the river — the charming unobtrusive flowers and rich variety of trees. If anyone has expertise which they’d be willing to share, please get in touch.

Meanwhile the RDA Journal team are taking a break until mid-January and wish you a very Happy Christmas and New Year.

Continue reading

A Remarkable Story: 100 years of Waldringfield Sailing Club

By Robert Deaves

WSC on its centenary (Robert Deaves)

The story of Waldringfield Sailing Club is a remarkable story. In 2021 the Club celebrated its centenary, 100 years of sailing on the River Deben, and as part of those celebrations started work on writing its history. The result is ‘A Century of Sailing – Waldringfield Sailing Club 1921-2021’, which has just been published. Continue reading

In talk hosted by River Deben Association, Lord Deben urges Suffolk voters to hold their politicians to account over climate change

WOODBRIDGE, 27 OCTOBER 2023 — Lord Deben, the former chair of the UK Climate Change Committee, and former Conservative Secretary of State for the Environment and MP for Suffolk Coastal, on Thursday urged voters to hold politicians to account over climate change during a talk in Woodbridge for the River Deben Association (RDA). Continue reading