Capturing the changing river one photo at a time

View of the river Deben from the monitoring post

A PhotoPost has been placed on the riverbank near the Melton Boatyard, just after the cafe on the boat as you walk towards Woodbridge. When you are next passing take a photo and post it on the facebook site ( – full instructions are on the post.

Melton Photopost

The PhotoPosts project is a collaborative monitoring and public engagement enterprise involving AONB Suffolk Coasts & Heaths, the Deben Estuary Partnership, Parish Councils, and coastal scientist Helene Burningham of UCL. With funding from Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB, aligning with their Landscape Lens project,  PhotoPosts are being installed around the Deben estuary and local coastline to support the monitoring of coastal change and inform decision-making and coastal management.

Fixed-point photography (i.e. taking a photograph of a specific feature from exactly the same position) has been used for decades to monitor environmental change, and there are many examples of similar projects around the UK and beyond (e.g. Old Chalk New Downs in Kent, and the River Restoration Centre provide guidance on setting up fixed-point photography sites).

With the increase in interest in citizen science, and the enhanced capabilities of web and social media, fixed-point photography is now being implemented in multiple locations and engaging a wide public. The CoastSnap project that started in Australia is advancing the possibilities in the use and application of photos acquired through this approach, particularly in terms of involving the public in the process and deriving measurements and understanding from the photos taken.

The Deben PhotoPosts are already capturing aspects of change in the coast that are not evident through standard monitoring approaches, and as our archive grows, we are certain that the record will be invaluable in supporting improved understanding and inform flood and coastal erosion risk management.