Friends of Tayfen Nature Reserve

Saturday 1st August 2015

My Wild Life is a weekly column running each Saturday throughout 2015 in the East Anglian Daily Times. Each week it features stories of action for local wildlife

By Nicola Miller

How many of you know that there is a green lung at the heart of a densely populated part of Bury St Edmunds? A place where kingfishers, woodpeckers and treecreepers, bee orchids and little egrets make their home surrounded by streets filled with our own family houses, businesses and schools?

The Tayfen Nature Reserve was created several decades ago and is used by many parents and children who speak fondly of it but recently, incidents of anti-social behaviour and vandalism have increased and we felt that the site was not reaching its full potential. To combat this, The Friends of Tayfen Nature Reserve were formed after a meeting at the end of January 2015, overseen by local councillors Julia Wakelam and David Nettleton. Since then we have set up a website and recently met with Tracey Housley from the Suffolk Wildlife Trust to walk the reserve and discuss how best to move forward. The Reserve remains a bit of an insiders secret but we hope to popularise the site whilst protecting and nurturing the wildlife that lives within it.

At the time of writing, the wildflower meadows are in full bloom with birdseye trefoil, knapweed and scabious, yellow rattle, poppies and grasses growing well and there are bee orchids in the hedgerows, a recent and exciting discovery. We plan to better manage the reed bed and lake bordered with swathes of iris, king cups and bullrushes and would appreciate any expert advice as to how to do this.

The Friends are seeking to organise regular litter picking and management rotas to ensure the pathways are kept clear of brambles and wooded areas managed, including the planting of new trees and plants. Regular transects of butterflies and other insect life will be undertaken and we hope to work with nearby schools and other local organisations to ensure Tayfen Nature Reserve is protected for future generations.

To find out more have a look at the Tayfen Nature Reserve website

Photograph shows Tayfen Nature Reserve, by Nicola Miller

This and many of the projects featured in this column have received support from the Heritage Lottery Funded Networking Nature initiative. If you want to breathe life back into a community green space get in touch with Suffolk Wildlife Trust – there’s loads of advice at or you can call the Trust on 01473 890089.

Tagged with: Species, Heritage Lottery Fund, My Wild Life, Swifts