Our Village

About Waldringfield

Waldringfield is thought to mean the "Field of Walhere's People"

River wall looking northWaldringfield has a very rich wildlife. This is because it includes a stretch of the tidal river estuary, with important areas of salt marsh, mudflats and riverside grassland. This provides habitats for many species of plants, birds and mammals. The river has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

The river has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and regular surveys reveal that our riverside habitats are nationally and internationally important as feeding grounds for waders and wildfowl, such as Widgeon, Shelduck and Brent Geese, particularly in severe weather. The river also has a good population of fish.

Mist over WaldringfieldIn 1988 the Deben Valley, including most of the Parish of Waldringfield,was designated an Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA) in order to encourage the preservation of the traditional farming landscape, with its modest-sized fields bounded by hedges punctuated with mature oak trees, and to promote the survival of increasingly rare habitats such as heathland and woodland.

This designation came too late to save Waldringfield Heath (most of which was ploughed up after WW2), and some of our ancient hedges. This Heath is now under further threat from development into a housing estate for some 2000 houses.

Beach at Waldringfield

Waldringfield is the only riverside settlement of any size between Felixstowe Ferry and Woodbridge.

It is small, well-confined and reasonably unobtrusive when viewed from the river. The riverside landscape remains rural, peaceful and wildlife-friendly and is much appreciated by both residents and visitors.

Ramblers, sailors, bird watchers and fisherman have all found joy in this beautiful spot.

Today, the river is given over to leisure. Waldringfield Sailing Club, formed in 1921, now has a membership of around 700 of whom around 80 live in the village. In addition to providing club dinghy racing, the WSC hosts open meetings, runs training courses and plays a prominent role in the annual Deben Regatta.

The village consists of some 225 dwellings of which a number are holiday homes.Waldringfield boatyard

The general store became unviable and closed in 1998 and the plan to replace it with a village shopping club did not prove possible however mobile Grocers and fresh fish van regularly visit the village. A demolition company has premises at Waldringfield Heath and nearby, numerous business starter units have been created from redundant pig-farm outbuildings at Waldringfield Heath.

Waldringfield Boatyard provides facilities for yachts, and runs a pleasure launch offering river trips for coach parties and individuals.

Village Hall side view

A new village hall was built in 2002 with the aid of a substantial grant from the Millennium Fund. A part time Mobile Post Office visits the car park three lunchtimes a week.

The parish also has tennis courts, a sailing club, playing fielda children’s playground and a 5 acre Church Field which was donated to the parish as a recreational area by the late Tom Waller.

The village  primary school was founded 130 years ago and has recently been enlarged. It also has a large field with football and hockey pitches and a new playground area.

Maybush front path

The village has an overwhelming desire to protect all aspects of the countryside and for the village not to develop further or to encroach on the surrounding area. Weekends, light evenings and school holidays all attract visitors, with numbers peaking in the warmer weather from Spring to Autumn, sometimes causing problems with traffic levels.

Moorings looking north

The Fairway Committee manage the moorings in the stretch of river in the immediate vicinity of the village. There is currently a waiting list for moorings as they are very popular, this being one of the few places on the river where a shingle beach provides easy access between water and land, however there is no public access  for the launching of boats as it is served by a private slipway.

Permission to use this must be obtained from the owners, Waldringfield Sailing Club.

From May to September, the River Deben has an 8 knot speed limit on most of its navigable length including the stretch past Waldringfield. Craft are only permitted to exceed this with written consent from SCDC, or on a stretch of water further down river below Ramsholt and another near the river mouth.