Steeped in history ands brimming with wildlife, Bradfield Woods is one of Britain's finest ancient woodlands. The ancient ash stools created by coppicing are the oldest living things in Suffolk In spring the woodland floor comes to life with yellow oxlips, white wood anemones and early purple orchids.
On sunny summer days, butterflies crowd the sunlit edges of the woodland paths and in the branches, hidden from view, dormice sip nectar from honeysuckle blooms. As the days shorten and winter coppicing work begins, bright red fly agaric, ink cap and other fungi push through the fallen autumn leaves. This annual harvesting cycle began centuries ago and has created the patchwork of linked habitats, each with its own mix of species, which makes Bradfield Woods so special. For Suffolk Wildlife Trust, continuing this tradition of coppicing is the best way to keep it that way.
Bradfield Woods National Nature Reserve is 8 miles east of Bury St Edmunds between the villages of Bradfield St George and Felsham.
The trails are open every day from dawn to dusk.
Free to visit
Car park and bicycle racks
5 miles of trails
School visits, led by our Education Officer
Well behaved dogs on leads welcome
The mixed woodland and scrub suports bird species including song thrush, spotted flycatcher, bullfinch, dunnock and willow warbler.
Butterflies and moths
More than 20 species of butterfly have been recorded, including green hairstreak, purple hairstreak, white admiral and purple emperor.
More than 300 species of moth have been recorded.
Dragonflies and damselflies
Emerald damselfly, azure and common blue damselflies, southern hawker and common darter have been recorded.
The wood is great for fungi especially in Autumn.
Bradfield Woods is among the richest woods for flora in Britain, with over 370 species of vascular plant have been recorded in the wood. Notable species include greater butterfly orchid, bird's nest orchid, herb paris and oxlip.
The ancient coppice in Bradfield Woods supports a successful population of dormice which are increasing their range.
Reptiles and amphibians
Great crested newts and smooth newt are present in the ponds at Bradfield Woods. Grass snakes are common in the wood using young coppice and ride edges as nesting sites.
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