£12m appeal aiming to protect beautiful Alde and Ore estuary from floods devastation
PUBLISHED: 13:12 14 October 2017 | UPDATED: 13:12 14 October 2017
A £12million appeal is being launched today to protect one of Suffolk’s most beautiful but vulnerable areas from flooding.
The Alde and Ore Estuary Trust is raising the cash to carry out essential upgrading works to the estuary flood defences, promoting a “resilience” approach, to ensure defences can resist breaching even if overtopped, avoiding catastrophic flooding to low-lying homes and farmland seen in 1953 and more recently in 2013.
One method of boosting the appeal could see up to 140 homes being built on “exception sites”, raising millions of pounds.
Events lined up include 17 pubs taking part in a massive quiz night.
The campaign is being launched tonight at a screening of the Save Our Suffolk Estuary film, narrated by BBC’s Nick Robinson, at Orford Town Hall.
A spokeswoman for the trust said: “Over hundreds of years our ancestors have regularly invested in preserving the Alde and Ore flood defences. We now need to invest in these defences ourselves to enhance and preserve them for generations to come.
“The recent flood warnings this January and the 2013 surge tide, the flooding at Snape, were timely reminders as to the vulnerability of our communities surrounding the estuary, and the constant threat to its sustainability.
“Only a very limited amount of public funding is expected to be made available. The majority of the funds will therefore have to be met by all of us who enjoy the amenities and beauty of this exceptional area.
“The Estuary Trust will call upon all residents, farmers, visitors, businesses, charities and Government agencies to contribute to the fundraising effort.”
Landowners and farmers have collectively embarked on a programme to raise £5m by a variety of means, including the contribution of sites for enabling development. A further £550,000 has also been pledged by the Alde and Ore Estuary Association, which received a generous legacy from the late David Andren.
Government funding is now limited for rural areas and public consultation during the preparation of future plans for the management of the estuary found the local community fully behind the efforts to raise substantial funds to cover the gap between flood defence grants and the cost of the required upgrading of the defences.
Three launch events are being held this month to spread the word about the £12m appeal for funding for the estuary.
The first, tonight, is hosted by author Libby Purves at Orford Town Hall at 6pm, and the second will be held next Saturday, October 21, at 6pm, at Snape Village Hall, chaired by broadcaster Paul Heiney.
The third will be on October 28 at 11am at Aldeburgh Cinema, chaired by Lord Deben.
Each event will screen the 20-minute Save Our Suffolk Estuary film, directed by Angie Mason and narrated by BBC’s Nick Robinson, and also include the opportunity to ask questions from a panel of experts involved in the proposed river defence works.
Fundraising events being planned will include Suffolk’s Biggest Pub Quiz on November 23, when 17 pubs across the estuary area will be pitting their wits against each other simultaneously.
The trust is lining up some well-known quizmasters to ask the questions on Suffolk.