'It could all disappear into the sea' - Watch Nick Robinson's Save Our Suffolk Estuaries video
PUBLISHED: 16:39 31 May 2017 | UPDATED: 17:01 31 May 2017
Campaigners seeking £10million to save some of Suffolk's most treasured landscapes from being lost to the sea say the response to their first rallying cry has been "universally positive".
Save Our Suffolk Estuaries was unveiled today at the Suffolk Show to raise awareness about the campaign and what is at stake.
Members of the Alde and Ore Estuary Trust (AOET), which is behind the campaign, told visitors about the threats and what can be done. AOET is seeking donations to strengthen estuary defence walls of the Alde, Ore and Butley rivers to prevent the loss of a landscape it says is of great economic and ecological value.
To reinforce its message, visitors were shown a campaign video produced by Orford resident and BBC reporter Nick Robinson in which he tours the estuary. Mr Robinson says the Suffolk “so many of us love ... is under threat from the forces of nature”.
He highlights Shingle Street, where the “power of the tide can be relentless”; Aldeburgh, which he says could be lost if the seawall breaches; and Slaughden, where the North Sea is “barely a step away from the river”. Hazelwood Marsh, which was breached in the 2013 storm surge, is featured as an example of what could happen across the estuary.
“This place is so beautiful, so tranquil that it’s really easy to forget that each and every day it is threatened,” Mr Robinson adds.
Sir Edward Greenwell, chairman of the Alde and Ore Estuary Partnership, said the response at the show has been “universally positive”.
He said the key message was: “There’s a great danger – but we can fix it”. “If you look back, the very first time these river banks would have been built up would have been in the 12th Century,” Sir Edward added.“Gradually people have built them higher, they’ve repaired them when they washed away. Now it’s our generation’s turn to do its part.”
He said the message was “definitely getting across” and he was “relatively confident” of achieving the fundraising target.
Landowners in the region have already committed to a £5m target and a legacy of more than £600,000 has been left by David Andren, a highly regarded member of the Alde and Ore Estuary Association.
The remaining funds will need to be raised through the community, with the campaign launching fully in October
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