Blyth Estuary Group
The Aims of the Group

The Groups Aims

1. To protect and preserve the Blyth Estuary, it’s Harbour and infrastructure for the next generation.

2. To investigate the science behind the EA’s strategy and challenge those elements the group considers flawed.

3. To develop an affordable ‘contingency plan’ for the reinstatement and future maintenance of the clay walls.

4. To undertake repairs identified by the ‘contingency plan’ and develop a program for ongoing maintenance.

5. To seek cooperation through continued dialogue with the Government Agencies to facilitate advancement of our aims.

6. To campaign for a change in the 1991 ‘Water Resources Act’ to give the EA a statutory duty to maintain our estuary defences to an agreed and acceptable standard.

The Effects of ‘Doing Nothing’

1. The permanent loss of Tinkers & Delacroix Marsh would increase the Blyth tidal flow down steam by 22%. Bank erosion would increase by 50% and the increased flow would have a very serious and detrimental effect on the infrastructure and safety of navigation in Southwold Harbour. (The influence of an increased tidal flow on Waveney District Council’s plans to rebuild Southwold Harbour’s north dock wall and the Walberswick south training arm should not be underestimated).

2. Once wave action over the marsh had eroded Tinker’s and Delacroix walls and saltings, Reydon defences would come under increasing wave attack – should these defences fail the tidal flow would increase by 103% and destroy Southwold Harbour.

We must not let this happen!

Traditional River Wall Maintenance

The clay walls of the Blyth have been maintained for nearly 400 years at low cost by local people using basic hand tools and clay from the Saltings and Soak Dykes. It was known locally as ‘Slubbing the Banks’. This was often carried out by fishermen of the Blyth handed down through the generations.

Determining the correct maintenance height for the river walls was a simple process too – The measurements were taken from the Saltings (the vegetated flat area of land between the river and the river walls) which remain at mean high water level throughout the river. A man of average size would quite simply walk the Saltings; if he could see over the bank, it needed to be raised; a method that could be applied today, however, this is not necessarily true for other rivers with different tidal heights.

The Blyth Estuary Group supports: The Walberswick Sea defence Group, who are a charitable organisation that has been set up to formulate a long term sustainable solution to the problem of sea defence around the village of Walberswick in Suffolk.

The group also supports the organisers of the Walberswick SOS protest day. More than 1700 people staged a protest on Walberswick beach to form a human SOS. Their message: ‘We, the people of Walberswick, are sending out an SOS to this Government and calling on DEFRA to save our shingle ridge, save our marshes and save our community by reversing its recent decisions to retreat and let the sea in all around us’.Your donations to the Blyth Estuary Group will help repair and maintain the clay walls, will reduce the risk of flooding to land and properties and help to protect the infrastructure and safety of navigation in Southwold Harbour.