Deben Estuary SSSI

The river Deben is one of the most beautiful and undeveloped estuarys in England. It is home to many species of birds, fishes and mammals. Otters are seen on most parts of the river from Debenham to Ramsholt, and it is home to a number of endangered birds including Redshank, dark-bellied Brent Goose, black tailed Godwit and Shelduck. Curlew and Ospreys are also regularly spotted.

Because the river is of international importance providing a habitat for these and other birds, along with rare plants, the whole of the river, from approximately 1km north of Wilford Bridge to Felixstowe ferry has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

This legal designation provides some protection by restricting activities and setting rules for management of the land within the area. Note that written consent from Natural England is required to carry out any of the listed operations within the boundary of the SSSI.

All SSSI enquiries should be directed to:
Farm and Conservation Service
Natural England
County Hall
Spetchley Road


Telephone 0300 060 3900

Water Quality Group

The river is also popular with sailors, there are close 1000 boats moored on the 9 mile stretch between Wilford bridge and Felixstowe Ferry, and swimmers. The water quality is therefore clearly very important to all users and the group are establishing a benchmark water quality level in order to determine the health of the river and any possible risk to the well being of its users. The threats principally come from nitrate and other run off from the adjacent fields, discharge from sewerage farms between Melton and Felixstowe and other polution from river users.

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