Suffolk Coast Forum

To view the latest information about what is going on along Suffolk’s coast and estuaries, please see the updates provided for the Suffolk Coast Forum minutes. For a wider perspective of the East Anglian coast, see the Coastal Partnership East newsletters.

 Suffolk Coast & Estuaries 7th Annual Community Conference took place on Friday 12th October 2018 at Wherstead Park, Ipswich. This year's conference was titled 'Learning from the past, adapting for the future'. The presentations from the conference and workshops can be found to the left of this page. View the 2018 Suffolk Coast and Estuaries Community Conference programme. 

Last year's conference focused on valuing our coast. A range of engaging speakers and workshops put forward the compelling case for building the future of our coast through planning, investment and management and the many innovative ways in which this can and is being done here and elsewhere. With thanks to our sponsors for making the conference possible. Presentations from the conference are available to the left of the page.

See the film update created by talented young filmmakers from Suffolk One highlighting some of the people and projects helping to build a resilient coast and estuaries in Suffolk.


News: The government is now inviting bids for a new £1 million Coastal Revival Fund round, which is for grant funding to be spent in 2018 to 2019. The Coastal Revival Fund is targeted at bringing at-risk coastal heritage sites back into economic use. Bids of up to £50,000 per project, are to be submitted by 23:59 hours on Thursday 5 July 2018. This fund could start the regeneration of a much loved building or asset such as pier, park, 1930’s lido or promenade. The first Coastal Revival Fund round provided £3.7 million to support 92 projects in coastal areas. See details of past projects.

A further £40million is now available for Coastal Communities! Piers, promenades and coastal paths are some of over 30 exciting new projects set to create jobs, attract tourists and boost economic growth. Click here for more information.

Shoreline Maangement Plans for all of the Suffolk coast have been updated and can be found here. The lead authorities are now undertaking reviews of the SMP policies, in particular at Corton, Slaughden and Bawdsey. The SMP Client Steering Group is working alongside partners in the Slaughden Review and a presentation is available here. Any proposals for change will be reported to the Suffolk Coast Forum and the public will be widely consulted before any decisions are made.

'Sandscaping or shingle engine' The Crown Estate, working with various research bodies and consultants are exploring the possibilities for innovative coastal management in the forms of a 'sand or shingle engine'. This presentation outlines the concept and some of the relevant background and this presentation was recently shown to the Suffolk Coast Forum, indicating that the shingle engine is likely to be technically effective off Aldeburgh. Details are contained in this report.

In March 2017 the Suffolk Coast Forum held a workshop with a wide range of experts to consider further the possibility of a shingle engine to protect the vulnerable coastline at Slaughden. Notes from the meeting are available here. Subsequently an economic assessment has been commissioned. Of course, there are many other issues to be further considered if this form of coastal management is to become a reality - not least are environmental considerations and funding. The Suffolk Coast Forum continues to further support the development of this concept.

Suffolk Saltmarsh Group The Suffolk Saltmarsh Group, a sub-group of SCF, has been formed to offer strategic support across the Suffolk estuaries and coastal groups for Saltmarsh restoration and re-creation projects. The Group has representatives from relevant statutory and non-statutory bodies and strong links to the Estuary and Coastal Partnerships through their representatives on the Group. The Group met in February and agreed a set of ‘task and finish’ groups to take forward challenging issues that are currently hampering saltmarsh work and several of these groups have met to move the saltmarsh agenda forward. The themes are: Licencing and Consents, Evidence, Monitoring and Evaluation, Engagement and Communication, Funding and Operations and Delivery. The SSG will meet again in June to discuss the findings of each group and to set up a prioritised action plan to help progress saltmarsh work. The SSG feed into the Marine Pioneer programme and support the EA- funded Natural Flood Risk Management projects. The SSG have also had oversight of the Deben Saltmarsh Pilot funded by the AONB’s Sustainable Development Fund. This project has recently concluded with a high level evaluation of the ‘value’ of the Deben’s saltmarshes by Professor Graham Underwood and his team at Essex University and there are some very compelling figures coming from the report; using the example of Kyson and Loders Cut there is the potential to improve the Carbon Stock by 82.5 tonnes over a 4ha marsh. Scaling this up to an estuary level, Natural England’s SSSI status report identified 76% of the Deben marsh being at risk or unfavourable. If one applies Professor Underwood’s calculations to the Deben as a whole - taking no action - risks losing £207,332 of Carbon stock. The SSG will now need to discuss the report in more detail and make recommendations for next steps to the Marine Pioneer and the SCF. Minutes from the first SSG meeting are available here.

Suffolk Marine Pioneer We are lucky in Suffolk to have the Marine Pioneer, one of four national pilots commissioned by Defra to inform how Government could implement the aspirations of their 25 year plan. The pilots explore Marine, Landscape, Catchment-scale and Urban environments in the context of natural capital. Suffolk has a sister marine project in Devon. Together, the Marine Pioneer is exploring ways in which the marine and coastal environment can be better protected in the face of strained resources and increased pressures. A presentation about the Suffolk Marine Pioneer is available here. For more information email Peter Cosgrove.

Private business contributions to flood and coastal management projects can qualify for tax relief. Guidance regarding this tax relief is available here. The aim is to encourage more business contributions to our projects. This has largely been secured as a result of lobbying by the Local Government Association's Coastal Group.

Environment Agency Cumbria have developed a useful guide to How Environment Agency Fund and Deliver Flood Risk Management Schemes.


Useful Information - click here for useful information about the Suffolk Coast Forum 

The Forum's role

To take a partnership approach to flood and coastal erosion risk management on the coast and estuaries and closely related issues in the context of an Integrated Coastal Zone Management approach.

For the minutes of previous meetings and papers relevant to forthcoming meetings see the left hand side of this page.


The group currently includes the following members:

  • Alde & Ore Estuary Partnership
  • Babergh District Council
  • Bawdsey Coastal Partnership
  • Blyth Estuary Partnership
  • Coastal Partnership East
  • Deben Estuary Partnership
  • Eastern Inshore Fisheries & Conservation Authority (EIFCA)
  • Eastern Regional Flood and Coastal Committee (Paul Hayden, Chairman)
  • East Suffolk Council
  • East Suffolk Internal Drainage Board
  • Environment Agency
  • Ipswich Borough Council
  • Marine Management Organisation
  • Marine Pioneer
  • Natural England
  • Stour & Orwell Estuaries Management Group
  • Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB
  • Suffolk Coast Against Retreat
  • Suffolk County Council

Associate members include RSPB, National Farmers' Union, Country Land & Business Association, Crown Estate and National Trust. These groups receive mailings and observe meetings and are invited to bring issues to the group.

The membership is reviewed after a year in operation.

Terms of Reference

The Suffolk Coast Forum's terms of reference can be viewed here.

Contact Information

Secretariats and contacts in case of any queries:


Councillor David Ritchie, East Suffolk Council. Email: