The Alde and Ore Estuary Partnership

Alde and Ore 2What is the Estuary Partnership? 

The Alde and Ore Estuary Partnership, was created in May 2012 as a new model to enable local communities to take over the management of their flood defences (see The Secretary of State for the Environment, Richard Benyon, on )

For all of us who live, work and visit this very special area, the river defences play a defining role on our estuary and local economy. It is not just those who live in the flood plain who would be affected but our whole way of life, businesses, property and tourism would all be at risk should the walls breach as they did in 1953.

What does the partnership aim to achieve and how will I benefit?

It is estimated some £12Million will be required to upgrade our defences to withstand surge tides. We hope everyone feels part of our endeavor to maintain the defences, as without convincing local commitment we may fail to meet our aims.

Who is involved?

The Partnership was set up to cover all interests in the estuary: parish councillors, farmers and landowners, ecological interests, householders and the Alde and Ore Association represent a wide variety of community interests. The Environment Agency, Suffolk County and District Council, Natural England and the ANOB unit all advise the partnership.

What has been done so far?

Under the Chairmanship of Sir Edward Greenwell Bt, since May 2012 the management of the estuary has been agreed as defined in the Final Estuary Plan see here: and endorsed by the statutory authorities in June 2016.   Work has already commenced at Snape and on the Aldeburgh Marsh wall (Phase 1 completed).   Modelling of the whole estuary has recently been completed to assess flood risk and impact on intertidal areas and creation opportunities.  There will be a full community meeting in Spring 2018 (see dates below) to discuss the various schemes proposed and a more refined phased and costed programme of the necessary flood defence work.

How can I get involved?

Only around £2million will be available from government funding, the remainder will have to be raised by the community, charity applications and potentially a HLF application.  Please contact the AOEP on  if you would like to offer help with IT, design & support for the website and newsletters or more practical help monitoring the saltmarsh trials. Fundraising is managed by The Estuary Trust, please contact if you have any ideas on how to raise funds or if you would like to help in organizing events such as the Big Pub Quiz.

See our film here presented by Nick Robinson and


Photo by Tony Pick

Alde and Ore News

Update from the Alde and Ore Community Partnership (AOCP)

The AOCP held its fourth meeting on 17 September by zoom: members of the public attended too.

The important news about the grant application for the first part of the Estuary Flood Defence Project is still awaited.

The newly formed AOCP, which provides a voice for the local community and is the guardian of the Estuary Plan, is getting fully organised. The draft constitution was agreed. The communications plans are being developed so that AOCP can reach out to everyone in the estuary. The method for monitoring the estuary for coastal squeeze, impact of rising sea level on the various estuary habitats, was confirmed.

The draft minutes of the meeting are on the AOCP website.

If anyone had any questions do email the Temp Hon Sec on

The next meeting, also most probably by Zoom, is set for Thursday 10 December 2020 at 18.30. Members of the public are welcome. Details will be available on the AOCP web site

The Alde and Ore Estuary Plan update - another link in the chain for Partnership, Trust and IDB

The decade-long story of planning for the renewal and maintenance of the river walls that are a defining feature of our local landscapes continues, with signs that we are nearing the final stages with the submission of an application for funding - here’s an update from the East Suffolk Internal Drainage Board, which made the submission and will carry out the works if and when the programme is approved and funds granted:

Following a lengthy consultation with the Environment Agency, the East Suffolk Internal Drainage Board (ESIDB) has submitted the outline business case to request Government funding towards works at Aldeburgh, Iken and Snape. Since the Environment Agency and the Internal Drainage Board have done so much work over the past few months on the case, the review process will be a quicker route than was originally planned. We expect to hear the outcome from the Environment Agency in the Autumn, as the innovative nature of the project will mean that it is likely to be closely scrutinised.

Once feedback has been received, work can then commence on the second business case which enables the ESIDB to bid for funding for works covering Boyton, Butley, Chillesford, Gedgrave, Orford and Sudbourne. The whole estuary programme of works will take some 7-8 years to complete.

Meanwhile the new Alde and Ore Community Partnership has been meeting virtually, and is working on new ways to keep local parishes and communities informed, and to make sure their voices are heard. The Partnership has been reconstituted from the former Alde and Ore Estuary Partnership, with strong parish representation, and will be working closely with the ESIDB and the Alde & Ore Estuary Trust, who are respectively leading the programme of works and its funding.

All are welcome at AOCP meetings, virtual or actual, and more information on the three organisations and the Estuary Plan can be found on their websites, or directly from Alison Andrews email: The next meeting will be in September.


The Estuary Partnership is starting a new chapter.   At the November meeting, the Partnership agreed to a number of reorganisational changes to meet the challenges of implementing the Estuary Plan once consents have been agreed next year.    A new Community Partnership is being formed to take on the guardianship of the Plan and communicating and consulting with the Alde and Ore estuary community while the programme of works are in progress over the next few years.  Changes to the various bodies and their remits will be available on the website shortly.

The Partnership has now completed the preparation of an agreed Estuary Plan, designed so that once all the works are done the estuary river walls should be able to withstand a 1 in 200-year surge in 2050.  The East Suffolk Internal Drainage Board (ESIDB) is now fully in charge of taking forward the constructional work to make this happen.    The ESIDB has submitted the business plan, applications for a government grant and consents for the initial project for the upper estuary (Snape, Aldeburgh and Iken), to the Environment Agency where they will be considered by the National Large Projects Committee. It is hoped that the results of the application will be known by the end of February or in early March. Depending on availability of funds, it is hoped some preparatory work can start in 2020.

Meanwhile the Alde and Ore Estuary Trust, which is responsible for fund raising and providing grants to the ESIDB, is working on many fronts to raise funds. Most recently there was a highly successful pub quiz in 12 locals involving some 600 people and the grand total of £44,000 was raised in a single evening.   The film that was seen at the Pub Quiz is available on if you have not seen it.

The AOEP intends that the first new Community Partnership meeting will be take place on Thursday 30 January at 6.30 pm in Orford Town Hall.   This is a public meeting, and anyone may attend.

The East Suffolk Internal Drainage Board (ESIDB) as the Risk Management Authority, will be submitting the draft business case for Snape (both village and Snape Maltings), Aldeburgh and Iken to the Environment Agency imminently.

This is the first stage in applying for consents to upgrade the river walls.  In readiness for the delivery phase, the Partnership is discussing a governance restructure of the committees as the ESIDB will be project managing the delivery of the upgrade.

A Key Stakeholder Group has been set up with representatives from all parish councils in the Alde and Ore Estuary boundary and local businesses will be asked to attend via their Business Associations.   This is a crucial group acting as the communications between the community and a new Strategic Board.

These new arrangements will be discussed by the Partnership and the Key Stakeholder Group and will be published and placed on the web site when they are finally agreed.


The East Suffolk Internal Drainage Board (ESIDB) presented their costs for the whole estuary upgrade scheme at the drop-in held by the Estuary Partnership at Snape Maltings on 27th February.  The overall cost of £26.9 million includes a £5.1m contingency and covers some 44 kilometers of wall from Snape to Shingle Street, taking 7-8 years to complete. Costs are based on a design of an engineering and environmental standard, which is required to attract Government funding (Flood Defence Grant in Aid).

The ESIDB, who are responsible for project managing the upgrade, have been advised that potentially £10.5million of Government funds could be applied for in view of the national assets in the Alde and Ore Estuary. These include Snape Maltings and a wealth of internationally recognised wildlife habitats and, in the lower part of the Estuary, extensive grazing marshes which provide fresh water to irrigate this nationally important vegetable growing area.  However, there is no guarantee, even if the Environment Agency (EA) confirm eligibility for Government funding, that it will be allocated.

With a local economy of over £100million per annum, there is a huge economic and environmental benefit to managing the estuary defences for at least another 30 years, making allowances for both climate change and sea level rise in the future.   Detailed modelling by HR Wallingford (an independent flood risk consultant) has provided a robust model for the estuary since the 2013 surge and confirms that the works can be delivered in line with the Estuary Plan.  This is a pioneering adaptive approach providing over-toppable but resilient defences which will give some 300 homes around the estuary a reduced risk of flooding.

Earlier this week there was a major boost to the campaign when the landowners and farmers had agreed a £3million fund and £1million in cash and pledges. They also agreed, having discussed the issue with The Estuary Partnership and Trust, to withdraw their plans for enabling development as a mechanism for fund-raising for flood defences in the estuary.

The Alde & Ore Estuary Trust, the charity responsible for local fund-raising, is confident that they have identified how to raise the funds.   Provided Government funding is achieved, it is anticipated that £16 million needs to be raised locally over the next 7 years, of which over £4million has already been secured.  This will include local levy funding, Community Infrastructure Levy, parish precept, local donors, landowners, charities and Heritage Lottery Fund.

Professor Jane Maxim, Trustee and Funding Group Chairman said “We are delighted that Garfield Weston Foundation has given us a grant of £500,000 of which £100,000 is for match funding.   A further charity application will be made this Spring, and we are now beginning to explore a Heritage Lottery Grant application for the lower estuary.  We are poised to raise considerable funds, but we will need further support, energy and commitment from the local community”.    

To ensure you receive up to date news and press releases please sign up for the newsletter on either of these websites or


Great Aldeburgh to Orford Flotilla on Sunday 28th July 2019 10.00 am

Ahoy! Swimmers, sailors, kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, sculling, rowing boats and any miscellaneous non-motorised craft!

Further details and entry forms to follow

and also…


By popular demand the Pub Quiz is back! Friday 22nd November 6.30 pm

“So you thought you knew everything about Suffolk?” written by comedian Max Norman

Celebrity quizmasters and lots of fun

Further details and participating pubs to follow


Amanda Bettinson
Partnership Secretary