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Captain's Wood

Out of consideration for our neighbours, please do not park on School Lane within the village, but park considerately at the designated car park 400m from the reserve entrance.

Please note dogs are not permitted at Captain's Wood - peace and sense of place are paramount at this reserve and the fallow deer herds in the area are best left undisturbed.
Assistance dogs are permittied.


Captain's Wood has passed through the hands of various bishops, noblemen and moneyed families over the past 1000 years

Fallow deer roam through one of the greatest expanses of bluebells in the county.

Step into Captains Wood and you step back one hundred years or more into a woodland habitat of ancient trees and wild flowers where deer roam freely, barn owls hunt the clearings and seven species of bat feed amongst the trees. In Spring, Captain’s Wood exhibits one of the most astonishing displays of bluebells to be found anywhere in Suffolk.

The woodland habitat varies from mostly open woodland with oak and birch to a large stand of almost pure hazel, clumps of mature Scots pine and lines of planted sweet chestnut. Veteran oak trees are found throughout much of the woodland, supporting several species of fungi and invertebrates which are dependent on the slowly rotting heartwood, notably oak polypore that is only known from six other sites in Britain.

Captain's Wood trail map - click to view

We are delighted to have bought a 17 acre block of small fields, scrub and a little area of woodland sitting between Captain's Wood and the village of Sudbourne. The land has not been farmed for many years and had largely been left fallow. As a result it had developed into a wonderful mosaic of rough grassland, scrub and woodland. Part of the land sits wet for much of the year and this area still supports a few marsh orchids together with other wetland plants. The local herd of fallow deer has again played a crucial role in keeping this land open, much as they do in Captain's Wood.

Over the coming months the main practical task will be to remove the derelict fencing and accumulated clutter. Otherwise our intention is to adopt the same policy of allowing nature to do its own thing as we have in the woodland.

We will also be developing and way-marking an extension to the Captain's Wood trail in the spring , to include a loop around the new land and also provide access to parts of the reserve that were previously inaccessible. We hope the trail will be open in time for the bluebell season - please check this page for updates.

Species and habitats

Bluebell, Fallow Deer, English Oak, Barn Owl, Buzzard

Nearby nature reserves

Alde Mudflats
2 miles - Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Blaxhall Common
3 miles - Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Snape Marshes
3 miles - Suffolk Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

School Road, Sudbourne
IP12 2BE
Map reference

GPS Info
From Sudbourne village take School road heading east. Pedestrian entrance on left, parking 400m beyond entrance on right hand side.

Great for...
a family day out
ancient trees
spring flowers
Best time to visit
Apr - May
Sep - Nov
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
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Opening Times
Open at all times
62.00 hectares

Walking information
Circular pedestrian trail (3km) round reserve, damp and rough in places, though otherwise good. Three rustic benches around trail. Car park 400m from reserve entrance, with road walk necessary. Generally dry level trail around wood
Out of consideration for our neighbours, please do not park on School Lane within the village, but park considerately at the designated car park 400m from the reserve entrance.
Guide dogs only
Reserve manager
Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01473 890089


Factsheets and guides for your visit