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Save Our Suffolk Estuary’s £10m flood defence campaign to launch with celebrity backing at Suffolk Show

PUBLISHED: 06:33 29 May 2017 | UPDATED: 06:47 29 May 2017

The campaign is seeking to protect the Alde and Ore estuary. Picture: MIKE PAGE

The campaign is seeking to protect the Alde and Ore estuary. Picture: MIKE PAGE

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A new campaign seeking £10million to protect a spectacular but threatened Suffolk landscape has seen celebrities, businesses and landowners join forces.

Artwork created by Emma Chichester Clark to illustrate the importance of the Save Our Suffolk Estuary campaign. Picture: EMMA CHICHESTER CLARK Artwork created by Emma Chichester Clark to illustrate the importance of the Save Our Suffolk Estuary campaign. Picture: EMMA CHICHESTER CLARK

Save Our Suffolk Estuary will be unveiled this week at the Suffolk Show in a bid to raise awareness of the need to strengthen the estuary defence walls of the Alde, Ore and Butley rivers.

Members of the Alde and Ore Estuary Trust (AOET), which is leading the campaign, will be running a stand at the show, where a short teaser will be presented of a film made by BBC presenter and Orford resident Nick Robinson to highlight what is at stake.

The film, which will be launched in full in Aldeburgh and Orford on October 14, features drone footage to demonstrate the social, cultural and natural life that the estuary walls protect.

The Alde and Ore Estuary Trust will be manning a stand at the Suffolk Show. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR The Alde and Ore Estuary Trust will be manning a stand at the Suffolk Show. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

The trust’s stand, number 465, will also feature information about the risks the estuary faces from tidal surges as well as the responsibility Suffolk’s communities have in protecting it, given the limited Government funding available.

The campaign highlights the importance of protecting the estuary, which attracts £100m of spending each year, sustains the employment of around 20,000 people and an agriculture sector worth £12 million. It is also a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and contains protected wildlife habitats.

The AOET warns, however, that the estuary is “under threat from devastating flooding”, such as those of 1953 and the 2013 storm surge, which breached the Hazelwood Marsh.

The 
BBC's Nick Robinson, pictured here at the Orford Fete, has produced a film for the campaign. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN The BBC's Nick Robinson, pictured here at the Orford Fete, has produced a film for the campaign. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Sir Edward Greenwell, chairman of the Ale and Ore Estuary Partnership said: “We cannot stop natural disasters but we can do our best to soften their impact.”

The trust estimates £12m is needed for upgrading defences of which only £2m is expected to be available through statutory funding. Landowners have committed to a £5m target, mainly through the donations of land, but the remaining £5m will need to be raised through the community.

A fundraising calendar will be launched at the show, including Suffolk’s “biggest ever pub quiz” on November 23, involving 14 pubs and celebrity quiz-masters, and a Four Ferries Charity Bike Ride on September 16.

Sir Edward Greenwell, chairman of the Alde and Ore Estuary Partnership. Picture: GREGG BROWN Sir Edward Greenwell, chairman of the Alde and Ore Estuary Partnership. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Visit here for more information. The Suffolk Show is on Wednesday and Thursday at Trinity Park near Ipswich.

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