Visitors to an East Suffolk village on the Deben Peninsula have been provided with an enlightening guide to the area’s fascinating history and environmental importance.

An interpretation and information board has recently been unveiled in the car park area at Bawdsey Quay – explaining its context within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Another board was originally installed in 2003 and stood for several years before being damaged and removed. Its new and improved replacement has been made possible thanks to funding from the Coast & Heaths AONB Sustainable Development Fund (SDF).

The £900 grant covered more than half the cost of the board, which was commissioned after locals and visitors requested an information point for the area – highlighting sites of interest, details on local wildlife and history.  

The area features a previously little-known tin chapel and was integral to the birth of radar, while the Deben Peninsula remains a key location for birds and wildlife.

The freestanding board explains how Bawdsey fits into the wider sense of place, with text developed in partnership with the AONB, Bawdsey Parish Council and the Deben Estuary Partnership, illustrations by Steve Roberts, of Footprint Interpretation, and photographs by local drone image firm, Time Flies.

It is hoped that the provision of an information board will benefit visitors who use the car park, and local businesses that will benefit from the signage as people are encouraged to explore the area.  

Cllr James Mallinder, East Suffolk Council member for Deben ward and Cabinet member with responsibility for the Environment, said: “I’m delighted to see the arrival of an interpretation board to give visitors an introduction to this beautiful and fascinating area of our coast.

“It will help people find their way to the river more easily and enjoy the local surroundings, knowing a bit more about the place.  

“I’ve heard tales of people parking up and then driving off without ever finding the river because it’s hidden behind trees but only a few hundred yards away.  

“The board will also encourage people to be conscientious visitors to the area; take home litter, not park on the riverbank.”

Meanwhile, three new picnic benches are soon due to arrive as part of East Suffolk Council’s efforts to make the area more user friendly.

The benches are more accessible to people with disabilities and will replace an ageing set of existing benches at the site.

Meanwhile, East Suffolk Council continues to work with Bawdsey Parish Council and Suffolk Highways to find further solutions to parking issues in the area.