The Suffolk Coast

Veteran Oaks of The Suffolk Coast

Veteran oak trees are a characteristic feature of Suffolk’s landscape, some of which are thought to be over 500 years old. These spectacular specimens are a reminder of the wild woodland that covered Britain in ancient times. Veteran oaks are treasured both for their fantastic wildlife value and cultural importance. The great age, size and condition of veteran oaks means they are unique habitats which can be considered complete ecosystems in themselves. Three to four hundred invertebrate species rely on their decaying wood to lay eggs and feed larvae, one important example being the rare Cardinal click beetle. Veteran oaks are also vital for many species of plants, mammals and birds such as barn owls which nest in their hollow trunks. They also sustain specialised communities of lichen, moss and fungi such as the rare Oak polypore. Veteran Oaks on The Suffolk CoastMany of the veteran oaks found on The Suffolk Coast today were once regularly pollarded or cut for timber or fuel. Large numbers of these magnificent trees are rarely seen these days, but they can be found in abundance at Staverton Park, near Butley and Trust reserve Captain’s Wood in Sudbourne. When Suffolk Wildlife Trust purchased Captain’s Wood it meant that a substantial part of the remaining woodland could be protected. Fields previously ploughed were restored to acid grassland and heath. Rhododendron which had been smothering the veteran oak pollards was cleared. This habitat management has allowed bluebells, honeysuckle and other native woodland species to thrive. Most other veteran oaks on The Suffolk Coast can be found standing alone on farmland, parks, gardens and village greens. Fine examples of these ancient trees can be seen at Newbourne Springs and Foxburrow Farm near Woodbridge. Several factors pose a threat to veteran oak trees. These include adverse weather conditions such as drought or high winds, pollution, intensive agricultural, development and mismanagement such as removing dead wood or ploughing too close to the root system. Individual veteran trees only receive specific protection by law if they are the subject of a Tree Preservation Order or are located in a Conservation Area. They may also be legally protected if they are on a designated nature conservation site or if they support a protected species such as roosting bats. For more information on ancient trees in the UK please visit the Ancient Tree Forum website. For more information on Captains Wood, Newbourne Springs and Foxburrow farm please visit www.suffolkwildifetrust.org

Things to see and do


Woodbridge Tide Mill

Woodbridge Tide Mill

Woodbridge

The Tide Mill has stood on the banks of the River Deben for over 800 years. The earliest record of a tide mill on this site by the River Deben is in 1170.

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Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)

Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)

The Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is a stunning landscape packed full with wildlife and exciting places to explore and discover. There's something for everyone with 155 square miles of tranquil and unspoilt landscape including wildlife-rich estuaries, ancient heaths, windswept shingle beaches and historic towns and villages.

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Suffolk Coast Greeters

Suffolk Coast Greeters

Suffolk Coast Greeters offer a friendly face in a new place. Whether you are moving into Suffolk, visiting for the first time, or want to experience the outstanding landscapes of the Suffolk Coast in a new way our growing network of volunteer Greeters could help. 

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Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible


Suffolk Wildlife Trust

Suffolk Wildlife Trust

Felixstowe

Nature Reserves

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Landguard Fort

Landguard Fort

Felixstowe

In 1667, it successfully repelled an invasion of Dutch soldiers, who came ashore near the Fludyer Arms Hotel. Today, it still stands proudly overlooking the mile-wide Harwich Harbour, at the mouth of the Rivers Orwell and Stour.

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RSPB Minsmere Nature Reserve

RSPB Minsmere Nature Reserve

Westleton

Discover nature together on the beautiful Suffolk coast. Wander among the wetlands and woods, potter along the beach, and pause to watch some amazing wildlife. Explore the Wild Zone with the family, then sample some delicious home-cooked, locally-sourced food in the cafe.

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