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Save Our Suffolk Estuary campaign raises £100k in ‘fantastic’ first month

PUBLISHED: 12:33 22 December 2017 | UPDATED: 12:33 22 December 2017

Lord Deben pictured at the Aldeburgh launch of the Save Our Suffolk Estuary campaign. Picture: EAMONN McCABE

Lord Deben pictured at the Aldeburgh launch of the Save Our Suffolk Estuary campaign. Picture: EAMONN McCABE

Archant

A campaign launched to save some of Suffolk’s most treasured landscapes from catastrophic flooding has got off to a “fantastic start” after raising more than £100,000 in its first month.

The Save Our Suffolk Estuary ran a stand at this year's Suffolk Show to let people know about the campaign ahead of its launch. Pictured is Mandy Bettinson. Picture: GREGG BROWN The Save Our Suffolk Estuary ran a stand at this year's Suffolk Show to let people know about the campaign ahead of its launch. Pictured is Mandy Bettinson. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The Save Our Suffolk Estuary campaign began in October with the aim of raising £12million to carry out essential upgrading works to the Alde and Ore estuary flood defences.

Campaigners highlighted the importance of the estuary to Suffolk’s economy, particularly tourism and farming, as well as its vulnerability to flooding, which could see much of the region transformed beyond recognition.

Launch events held at Aldeburgh Cinema, Orford Town Hall, and Snape Village Hall, featured a film presented by the BBC’s Nick Robinson warning of the dangers threatening the estuary. They have been followed by an inter-estuary pub quiz raising £42,500, as well as art and writing competitions judged by Maggie Hambling and Anthony Horowitz.

Jane Maxim, trustee and chairman of the Alde and Ore Estuary Trust Funding Group, which is behind the campaign, has thanked everyone for their generous donations of money and time.

The campaign recruited many east Suffolk pubs to hold quizzes with The campaign recruited many east Suffolk pubs to hold quizzes with "famous" quizmasters, raising more than £40,000. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“Although the trust has a small support staff, the fundraising is being delivered by a dedicated and growing number of volunteers. The estuary community has risen to this funding challenge magnificently,” Professor Maxim added.

“We are enormously grateful for this fantastic start to the campaign to raise £12m for vital flood defence works to protect homes, the local economy and tourism.”

As well as raising more than £100,000 in the first month, the trust has also received a “significant” amount in pledges from people who wish to spread their gifts over several years.

“This is a wonderful start,” a spokesman for the campaign said.

The campaign has also received pledges from landowners in the estuary and a £550,000 donation from the legacy of the late David Andren, of the Alde and Ore Estuary Association.

Proposals to raise part of the funding through “enabling development” – allowing 15-17 homes to be built on “exception sites” in the estuary – have been put on hold after opposition from some quarters.

The Alde and Ore Estuary Partnership will hold a series of community meetings in March and April to inform the public of the work that has been taking place on the modelling of the estuary.

Emergency services are working together to trace a missing 63-year-old woman thought to be at risk off the coast of Lowestoft.

Police were concerned for the welfare of 15-year-old Josie Brennan, who went missing from Ipswich.

Divisive plans to make cuts on free school transport in Suffolk have been given the go-ahead – but proposals for the decision to be reassessed have already been voiced.

The thoughtful staff at a food depot in Stowmarket took part in a bumper volunteering project this month – refurbishing a number of rooms at a local school.

A group of sixth-form students at a Bury St Edmunds school have raised more than £2,500 for charity after they hosted a special garden party.

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An elderly woman called police after finding a burglar searching through her belongings at her home in Harwich.

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