River Deben

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Woodbridge Tide Mill from the River Deben

The River Deben is a river in Suffolk rising in Debenham -to be precise it has two main sources and there are others, mostly fields' runoff (excess water)- then passing through Woodbridge, turning into a tidal estuary before entering the North Sea at Felixstowe Ferry. The mouth of the estuary is crossed by a ferry connecting Felixstowe and Bawdsey.

Tide mills at Woodbridge have operated off the tide from the river Deben since at least 1170. The present mill, built in 1793,is producing stone ground wholemeal flour in the traditional way.

The Deben Estuary is a Special Protection Area and Ramsar Site and within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Its significance arises from its over-wintering population of avocets (Recurvirostra avosetta). The estuary features shifting sandbanks. Plant life is dominated by the common reed (Phragmites australis). The salt marsh and intertidal mud-flats that occupy most of the area have the widest range of salt marsh flora in Suffolk.

There are several yacht and dinghy clubs on the river Deben. These include the Deben Rowing Club, Deben Yacht Club, the Waldringfield Sailing Club, Felixstowe Ferry Sailing Club and the Woodbridge Cruising Club. There are two yacht harbours, the Tidemill Yacht Harbour, close to the Tide Mill; and the Granary Yacht Harbour, further upstream at Melton.

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Coordinates: 51°59′40″N 1°23′17″E / 51.99436°N 1.38817°E / 51.99436; 1.38817