6 beautiful nature reserves in the Lark Valley

PUBLISHED: 08:06 12 March 2019 | UPDATED: 10:39 12 March 2019

Lackford Lake Nature Reserve (c) Karen Roe, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Lackford Lake Nature Reserve (c) Karen Roe, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)


Home to Lackford Lakes, Bradfield Woods and West Stow Country Park, there are few places quite as historic and photogenic as the Lark Valley. Here are 6 great nature reserves and country parks for you to visit

1) SWT Norah Hanbury-Kelk Nature Reserve

Mrs Norah Hanbury-Kelk bought the meadows during the 1930s when this part of west Suffolk was still largely rural. The meadows, gifted to Suffolk Wildlife Trust in the 1980s, are home to scarce marsh orchids and a great variety of other wetland plants such as ragged-robin, lady’s smock and greater bird’s-foot trefoil.

Barton Mills Suffolk

2) SWT Lackford Lakes

A wildlife oasis with a landscape of lakes, reeds, meadow and woodland. In season see great-crested grebe, kingfisher, tufted duck and water rail, shoveler, lapwing, goosander, bittern, goldeneye, and dazzling dragonflies.

Lackford Lakes

3) SWT Old Broom Nature Reserve

The ancient oak pollards of Old Broom are between 250 and 500 years old and a remnant of an open wood-pasture landscape that was a once extensive habitat in Suffolk. Public access on twice annual open days.

Risby Suffolk

4) West Stow Country Park

Waterside walks next to lakes and the River Lark near Bury St Edmunds. Nature trails through heathland and woodland and West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village. Next to the park is King’s Forest with fallow, red, roe and muntjac deer.

West Stow Country Park 17-9-2011

5) SWT Bradfield Woods

Almost entirely of ancient origin, the woods have been under continuous traditional coppice management since 1252 fulfilling local needs for firewood and hazel products.

Bradfield Woods

6) SWT Black Bourn Valley

The flowery riverside meadows at what was previously the Grove Farm nature reserve are one of the largest and richest in central Suffolk. Now, 70 acres of river valley have been added to create a magnificent landscape for wildlife with the Black Bourn at its heart.

Black Bourn meadows, Suffolk

See it all

Lark Valley Path

Interesting and varied walk starting at Mildenhall, along the river Lark, following it through Cavenham Heath Nature Reserve to Icklingham, then West Stow Country Park and along the river through Culford to Bury St Edmunds.


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