Lightning Craft

by Josh Masters


Photo: Claudia Myatt

Introduction from Julia Jones (RDA Journal Editor):

I am one of many river users who is currently wondering what I can do to reduce my carbon emissions. The RYA (Royal Yachting Association) has recently published their aspiration to make the UK’s recreational boating sector zero carbon by 2050 with a 50% reduction in carbon emissions from boat engines by 2030. https://www.rya.org.uk/about-us/policies/environment-and-sustainability

It’s perhaps easier to see what can be done with new-build boats than with yachts like mine, built as a motor-sailor in 1946. While I can safely undertake to use my sails as frequently as possible (that’s the joy of being a water-born hybrid) it will remain impossible to push one’s way out of the narrow Deben entrance against a spring flood if the wind is adverse. Continue reading

RDA Journal Update

The next Journal article will be published on 17 September 2021. It won’t be available until then. It is usually published around 5pm on the day. Once published you will be able to find it here:

Previous articles can be found here.

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Maintenance of the River Wall to Flood Cell 01 on the River Deben

By Robin Whittle

Introduction.  This article describes an investigation concerning the maintenance of the river wall to Flood Cell 01.  This has led to an understanding of how the raising of any river wall in the estuary will affect the possible flooding of other flood cells.  The work has resulted in providing the landowners with the results and a proposal for a protocol for the maintenance of the river walls.

Figure 1 (taken from the Deben Estuary Plan, 20151) shows the topography of the flood cells.


Figure 1: Topography of the flood cells

Continue reading

River Deben Festivities 2021 and before

By Julia Jones & Archie White

We publish this RDA Journal post on the eve of a new River Deben Festival – a new style of weeklong festival where many of the river businesses, clubs and organisations come together to do something special.  The Deben Summer Festival is the inspiration of Moray McPhail, Matt Lis, supported by the committee of the River Deben Association and many others.  Until the festival begins, the best place to visit is the website which continues to grow as organisations add their events. https://www.debenfestival.org/events

Continue reading

Photo Competition 2021 (ages 11-14 and 15-18)

The theme is the River Deben and the age group categories are 11-14 and 15-18. The closing date is 14 Aug.

Judging will take place by 1 September and the winners, with their parent or guardians’ consent, may be presented in the Deben Magazine but notified in advance.Entries should be accompanied with a short explanation (say 2 sentences) of what inspired each particular shot. Judging criteria will include composition, aesthetics, exposure, with the River Deben being in the shot somewhere! 

Prizes for the two winners will include a half day course with the professional photographer – Gill Moon and the runners up will have their winning entries professionally framed. 

Entries must be accompanied by the name and age of the entrant and contact details of their parent/carer.  Entrants can post their entries to the RDA Instagram page @riverdebenassociation or the following email: chair@riverdeben.org

Summer Holiday Ideas and Contacts 2021

Prepared by the River Deben Association (July 2021)

Summer 2021 is another summer where it’s going to be hard for families to make plans. Government restrictions have been removed but Covid 19 infections are rising again and everyone has been asked to behave responsibly and with consideration for others. Many people will already have decided to enjoy their holidays in the UK rather than go abroad. Spending as much time as possible out of doors is likely to be a good choice though we’ll need to be extra-sensitive to pressure on the river environment.

Continue reading

An Accidental Writer

By Robert Simper

Most people seem to get into writing from journalism or being connected with a university. I started writing because an incident unloading a lorry. Back in the 1950s, drivers unloaded their own lorries. I took a load of oats in bags into the ECF (Essex County Farmers) mill in Commercial Road, Ipswich and cheerfully grabbed the last bag of the load  and swung it round. At the same time something awful happened in my lower back. I spent the next ten years getting over it and have had to be careful ever since.

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Oystercatchers on the Deben

By Sally Westwood

The Oystercatcher lifted itself up, its legs unfolding slowly, and stepped out of the central space of a coiled rope. An egg lay in the space, the rope provided a wall for the nest. The nest was on the top of a 50-60 foot, river maintenance vessel. The boat was used for clearing channels and ditches, effectively keeping the river flowing. It had a crane at one end, and a vast square hold in the centre. The Oystercatchers had their nest on a flat surface at the other end of the vessel. The Oystercatcher called four times, at the edge of the vessel. Its mate arrived, and landed on a rusty, round, steel stanchion. It walked over to the nest, stepped in and lowered itself down onto the egg. Adjusting itself by wobbling from side to side, to comfortably cover the speckled egg. Eggs are incubated for 24 to 35 days.1 The other Oystercatcher flew off to the blades of grass and green weed at the edge of the water, abundant because of the warm weather. Tide was high and coming in. That was day eight, for the egg in the rope. Continue reading