The Tide Mill in Woodbridge - with its imposing white timber-framed structure overlooking the River Deben - is one of Suffolk's most familiar landmarks.

Yet trustees of the 18th century mill, one of only two in England still producing wholemeal flour, say they have encountered visitors to the riverside location who have no idea where the mill is and the attraction is losing custom as a result.

Now the Tide Mill Trust, which manages the property, is seeking listed building consent to install a new 'Tide Mill Museum' sign on the south west-facing side of the mill to make it clear where the building is.

As part of the planning process, the trust has to write to Woodbridge Town Council, which owns the freehold for the mill, to inform the authority of its intention to seek listed building consent, although it does not need the council's approval to install the sign.

In the letter, the trust's chair John Carrington said: "The sign is needed because visitors to Whisstocks Place are often not aware that the Tide Mill is only a short distance away and we are losing footfall.

"This may seem strange but personal experience, when selling flour on a stall in Whisstocks Place during an event, is being asked where the mill is and pointing over the wall to their surprise."

On Wednesday, Mr Carrington told the EADT the trust was hoping more visitors would provide much needed funds for work that needed to be carried out to the mill, including a redecoration of the outside and work to oak timbers which support the machinery.

These timbers are threatened by rising tides, which could rot the wood and cause the machinery to tilt.

"We are open and we are seeing reasonable footfall and we could do with a few more. We have got to redecorate the outside next year and getting a bit of money for that would be good.

"It is all in the interests of protecting the mill and helping us fund the work that has got to be done to keep it going," Mr Carrington said.