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Amenity and Accessibility Fund Case Studies:

Butley Ferry

The Suffolk & Essex Coast & Heaths National Landscape Amenity and Accessibility Fund aims to improve the environment and natural character of the area by awarding grants to projects that conserve habitats and species and improve sustainable access to the area.

Successful applicants typically receive grants for projects that help introduce more people to nature and allow them to engage with the landscape in new ways.

For the 2022-23 funding year, Butley Ferry were awarded £2,863.17 to renovate the 50+ year old ferry to increase its service life, improve buoyancy and its general appearance.

Historic Butley Ferry is rowed by volunteers across Butley Creek between Orford and Butley. A ferry has been in operation on the current site from 1383 and forms an important link between footpaths and cycle routes on both sides of the river.

Operated by oars only, Butley Ferry helps to retain the tranquillity of the area, without disturbing the local wildlife, while helping to make the area more accessible to the public.

The overall aim of the project was to increase the service life of the locally built boat, and to further improve its structural integrity, so that a safe and reliable ferry service could continue at the crossing. The renovation of the boat was carried out locally at Upson’s Boatyard in Aldeburgh.

Roy Truman, Head Ferryman of the Butley Ferry said: “The repairs needed on our 50-year-old boat were more than our volunteers had the skills, time, or facilities to undertake. The generous grant from the Amenity and Accessibility Fund enabled us to have the boat refurbished by local. The boat is back to doing what it does best, ferrying people safely across the Butley River, a beautiful corner of the Suffolk & Essex Coast & Heaths National Landscape.” 

Funding for the Amenity and Accessibility Fund is provided by EDF, with an initial one-off payment of £120,000 made when construction of a Dry Fuel Store (DFS) for spent nuclear fuel at Sizewell B power station began, in addition to further annual payments by EDF of £20,000. The total awarded to local projects now exceeds £300,000.