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 6th Annual Community Conference took place on Friday 6th October 2017 at Trinity Park, Ipswich. This year's conference focused on valuing our coast, bringing together the reasons why it is important to our communities, our businesses, our economy, its culture and heritage and our environment. 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.

Last year's conference, the 2016 'Suffolk – towards a resilient future for our estuaries and coast’ was themed around future planning and new ways of working around our coast and estuaries. A film update was 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. For conference presentations see the left hand side of this page.


News: The Government has announced a further £40million will be made available for Coastal Communities. Click here for more information

Common Ground: Community Voice Project Attendees of the recent SCF meeting learnt about the fantastic Community Voice Project film from Julian Gregory CEO Eastern IFCA, and Sandra Cowper Marine Science Officer Eastern IFCA. The film was created in partnership with the Marine Conservation Society and explores people’s connection with the coast and sea in Suffolk, Norfolk and Lincolnshire through a series of interviews. The full film can be viewed below. Links to further information about the Community Voice project can be found on the Eastern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority Eastern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority website or by contacting Sandra Cowper (email: or tel: 01553 775321).

All the SMPs have now be updated and can be found here. The lead authorities are now undertaking reviews of the SMP policies, in particular at Corton, Slaughden and Bawdsey. 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 Recognising the importance of saltmarsh in Suffolk, the Suffolk Coast Forum has set up a group to take assist in its protection and enhancement. Notes from the first group meeting are available here. A bid has been made to the AONB Sustainable Development fund to further the pioneering work on saltmarsh in Suffolk, including taking forward the concepts in the Environment Bank report. Further information on saltmarsh can viewed here. This includes presentations from the 2015 Saltmarsh Conference and the Environment Bank report.

In the 2014 Autumn Statement the Chancellor announced that private business contributions to flood and coastal management projects will 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.

For latest news from the Environment Agency Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management team (FCERM) see the FCERM Stakeholder Forum Update Paper December 2016.

The latest iCOASST update (December 2016) update is available here.

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


Useful Information

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

Other groups, including the RSPB, National Farmers' Union, Country Land & Business Association, and National Trust are currently associate members. They receive mailings and observe meetings and are invited to bring issues to the group.

The membership will be reviewed after a year in operation.

Terms of Reference

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

Contact Information

Secretariat and contact in case of any queries
Jane Burch
Flood & Coastal Policy Manager, Suffolk County Council  Tel: 01473 264782

Councillor David Ritchie




Coast and Estuaries Community Conference 2017

Presentations from the 2017 conference

Suffolk Coast and Flood News