Swimmers and paddlers wanted for Suffolk Charity Flotilla
A flotilla is due to descend a Suffolk River later this summer to raise funds to help protect areas of the county from flooding.
The Alde & Ore Estuary Trust is running a second summer flotilla as part of its Save Our Suffolk Estuary fundraising campaign and is encouraging the river lover community to get involved.
On Sunday July 4, participants can swim, kayak, row, canoe or stand up paddleboard from the Aldeburgh Yacht Club and travel nearly five miles along the estuary to the Orford Sailing Club. .
An elite class for those used to comfortably swimming three miles or more in open water will be timed and start first, followed by recreational swimmers who should take around two hours to complete the course.
Jane Maxim, Chair of the Trust Funding Strategy Group, said: “This July 4, we hope to raise more funds to support the modernization of our local river defenses and improve the habitat of animals such as aquatic voles that live in the ditches behind the walls.
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“This year we are increasing the number of people who can participate, as well as lowering the age limit so that children over 12 can get involved, which makes it a very special community event. Our inaugural flotilla in 2019 was a huge success, raising over £ 24,000.
“In addition to this year’s registration fee, we are asking participants to raise as much as they can through individual sponsorship, ideally £ 100 per person, to increase support for this extremely important work defense of the estuary. ”
A detailed and costed work program from the East Suffolk Internal Drainage Board shows that £ 26.9million is needed to upgrade the river defenses of the Alde and Ore Estuary over the next six to eight years , with £ 12million to be raised through voluntary local community donations, applications to charitable foundations and support received from local businesses.
There are a limited number of spots in each class – elite swimmers, recreational swimmers and the non-swimmer fleet – the trust urges anyone willing to get involved to register as soon as possible. Admission costs £ 50 for swimmers aged 16 and over and £ 40 for paddlers 12-16.
Those who wish to join the flotilla visit the trust website.