Suffolk-based charity The Alde & Ore Estuary Trust is organising a second summer flotilla as part of its Save Our Suffolk Estuary fundraising campaign and is encouraging the river-‐‑loving community to get involved.
On Sunday 4th September, participants are invited to swim, kayak, row, canoe, or paddleboard from Aldeburgh Yacht Club and make their way almost five miles down the estuary to Orford Sailing Club, with the ebb tide to help them.
An elite class who are used to swimming three or more miles comfortably in open water will be timed and set off first, followed by the recreational swimmers who are expected to take around two hours to complete the course.
Jane Maxim, Chair of the Trust’s Funding Strategy Group says: “This 4th September we hope to raise more funds to support the upgrading of our local river defences and improve the habitat for animals and protected species, such as water voles, who live in the ditches behind the walls. This year we are increasing the number of people who can take part, as well as lowering the age limit so children over 12 can get involved, making it a very special community event. Our inaugural flotilla in 2019 was a huge success, raising over £24,000.”
With a limited number of places in each class – elite swimmers, recreational swimmers, and the fleet of paddlers, the Trust is urging anyone keen to be involved to sign up as soon as possible. Entry is £50 for swimmers aged 16 years and over and £40 for paddlers 12 years and over.
Jane continues, “In addition to this year’s entry fee, we are asking participants to raise as much as they can by individual sponsorship, ideally £100 per person, to increase support for this hugely important estuary wall upgrade.”
Many thanks go to the local Suffolk-based businesses, including The Hotel Folk, Air Manage Suffolk and, Two Magpies Bakery for their kind sponsorship of this year’s event. Their support enables more funds raised to go towards funding vital flood defences.
Event Director, Mark Nicholls, adds: “The support the flotilla has received from a huge variety of independent businesses in the area has demonstrated they share our commitment to the Save Our Suffolk Estuary campaign and highlights the importance of strong ties between the community, businesses and our fundraising work.”
Grants from The Alde & Ore Estuary Trust support the upgrade and maintenance of flood defences of the Alde, Ore and Butley rivers to protect the area’s economy, homes, and landscape. Floods such as those of 1953 and 2013 devastated the area.
Those wishing to enter the flotilla should visit The Alde & Ore Estuary Trust’s website here: https://www.aoetrust.org/new-events
A detailed, costed programme of works by the East Suffolk Internal Drainage Board suggests that it will take six to eight years to upgrade the river walls throughout the Alde and Ore Estuary. While government funding is likely to contribute more than half the money needed, voluntary donations from the local community applications to charitable foundations and the support received from local businesses will also be necessary. Local landowners have already contributed £3m to this project.
All media enquiries to:
Emma Lloyd – email: email@example.com – telephone: 07796 847470
The 2019 flotilla setting off from Aldeburgh Yacht Club – photo credit: Gill Moon
Notes to editors:
The Alde & Ore Estuary Trust is a charitable body (registered charity no. 1155115).
For more background information: www.aoetrust.org and our social media @SOSestuary (Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook).