Suffolk Estuaries Officer Update January 2010

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					       Suffolk Estuaries Officer Update January 2010 for the Stour & Orwell Estuaries

Coastal Estuary Wardens

   -     Four Training Days have been held at Landguard Fort, Felixstowe. 36 people have
         attended. The 5th day is scheduled for 31st Jan. 2010 – 7 people booked to date.

   -     Observations have been submitted from a number of volunteers. Various negative
         issues have been reported including incidents of litter, dog faeces and concern about
         erosion and the subsequent exposure of old sea defences. The latter is currently being
         investigated by the EA as a health and safety issue.

   -     Links have been made with SCDC, EA, Marine Voluntary Service (MVS) and WDC
         concerning who to report incidents to and sharing information. Adam Gretton (Natural
         England) has requested the information we receive with regard to SSSI’s, especially
         reports of bait digging, disturbance, or illegal shooting.

   -     Forthcoming events:
         Early 2010: Shore search training day.
         March 21st All day training day for volunteers
         June Celebration day for Coastal and Estuary wardens and SCHU volunteers

Stour & Orwell Bait digging group

   -     A second meeting was held on the 9th of December. The main aim of the meeting was
         to exchange knowledge. Anglers and bait diggers - Mark Sessions, Tom Pinborough
         and Robert Tuck gave a presentation on bait digging and a clear insightful presentation
         on their understanding of the biological interactions and breeding cycles of the different
         types of worm in the estuaries and their understanding of the different pressures the
         estuary and the worms are under. The RSPB Mark Nowers and SWT Mick Wright gave
         a presentation respectively on the Stour & Orwell estuaries bird populations and the
         perceived pressures on over wintering and breeding birds.

   Agreed areas of action
    Management and closure of the estuaries during the winter months.
    1 - 2 year education programme before byelaws are sought. The education programme
   will be three pronged
   1. Raise awareness of issues with the police and for the group to decide what they deem
   as damage to guide the police.
   2. Raise damage issues with the bait diggers and raise awareness of the impacts and how
   they can reduce the impacts.
   3. Educate the public and Parish councils regarding what bait digging is, the legalities and
   how they can help us identify damage in areas.
    Encourage the selling of farmed worms in winter months.
    TAR/DC to organise a meeting with the police, NE, ESFJC and SWT
    TAR to raise wash issues with the ports at the regulators group.
    The group need to decide what they deem as damage to give the police some
   guidance. The best example of this would be digging up the foreshore and not infilling and
   digging in very harsh weather conditions?
     Agreed to use funding for a short leaflet, development of a web page, stickers for
    tackle for tackle shops, temporary cheap signs and to support this group.

Shotley activities regarding the cliff defences and footpath

The SEO met with the Shotley Stour Footpath Renovation Group on the 11 th of December to
discuss their activities to date. The group are keen to attract funding to restore the footpath
thereby strengthening the defence that protects the cliff and cliff top communities. They would
like to add recreational benefit and possible environmental gains within this venture. The group
have asked for guidance and support to do this. The group have already applied for Lottery
funding and in the main have failed due to excluding benefits to improving jobs locally.

The group have had site visits with John Brien Harwich Haven to discuss potential beneficial
use of dredgings and they have had plans drawn up by Hawes associates to explore different
engineering techniques and costings.

The next step
The SEO has organised a site visit with Karen Thomas EA, John Brien HHA, Jane Burch SCC,
Clr David Wood and Stewart Schleip BDC on the 25th of February to explore the potential
options available. Hawes Associates have provided reports and plans to date to inform

Stour & Orwell Coastal Access Group

     Terms of reference for the group have been agreed
     The responsible Dog Ownership Campaign led by SCHU has linked in with the
    partners of SOEAG to take forward a group initiative. The first event will be a Responsible
    Ownership Dog Walk “ I’m a Good Dog” from Orwell Country Park on Sunday the 10 th of
     The sensitive sites report is being considered for review on how to take forward a suite
    of techniques and approaches to reduce disturbance along the estuaries. The SEO and
    SWT Mick Wright have been out on site to consider a few options for management and
    raising awareness.
     The group will liaise with NE regarding the Coastal and Marine Access Act.
     The group has prioritised actions from the S&O Management Strategy Recreation
    Action Plan.

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