5 great reserves to visit in the Dedham Vale and Stour Valley AONB

PUBLISHED: 09:47 29 January 2019 | UPDATED: 11:49 29 January 2019

Sunset at Flatford (c) Nick Rowland, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Sunset at Flatford (c) Nick Rowland, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)


This beautiful part of the county on the Suffolk-Essex border is still as recognisable today as it was when painted by Constable and Gainsborough. Here you’ll find 5 great wild spots with rolling farmland, meandering rivers, meadows, ancient woodlands and a wide variety of local wildlife in a traditional English lowland landscape.

1) Clare Castle Country Park

Footpaths along the banks of the River Stour and along the old railway line. See a variety of trees and plants, birds and water life.

Clare Castle

2) SWT Arger Fen and Spouses Vale

A fascinating mosaic of ancient woodland, fen meadow and regenerating woodland.

Arger Fen 1

3) SWT Cornard Mere

Open water, fen and wet scrub, nesting sites for reed bunting, sedge and reed warbler.

Cornard Mere

4) RSPB Flatford Wildlife Garden

A wildlife garden designed to pass on ideas that visitors can incorporate into their own gardens. Includes a trail featuring carved wooden garden creatures and a living willow tunnel.

River side walkway in the RSPB Flatford Wildlife Garden

5) Sudbury Water Meadows

Continuously grazed for centuries, the meadows have never been ploughed or treated with chemical fertiliser. A four-mile walking route takes in riverside trails, wild flowers, birds and mammals.

Waiting for Sunset

See it all

Stour Valley Path

60 miles following the valley sides of the River Stour through Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire, including Dedham Vale AONB.


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