Back to reserve map

Church Farm Marshes

Church Farm Marshes was kindly left to Suffolk Wildlife Trust as a reserve by Philip Elsey, who farmed here for more than forty years.

The farm is a wildlife haven with flower-rich marshes

Church Farm Marshes boasts a combination of flower rich marshland, grassland areas that support an abundance of insects and copses of wet and dry woodland.

The marshes are quite peaty with a wide range of plants including southern marsh orchid, marsh marigold and ragged robin. The dykes are also important for wetland plants and dragonflies.

The marshes and grassland are maintained in the traditional way by grazing to safeguard the rich mix of plants and provide a good supply of insects for skylark, linnet, yellowhammer and other farmland birds. In the drier areas, grazing creates a mosaic of short turf, longer grass and patches of scrub. This is particularly valuable for grass snake and provides good hunting for barn owl.

A small sand and gravel pit brings yet more wildlife interest and the exposed south-facing sandy sides of the pit are used by burrowing bees, solitary wasps and other insects.

Church Farm Marshes trail map - click to view

Church Farm Marshes benefited from a gift in the will of Philip Elsey.


Species and habitats

Farmland, Grassland, Wetland, Woodland
Ragged-Robin, Skylark, Linnet, Yellowhammer, Barn Owl

Nearby nature reserves

Darsham Marshes
3 miles - Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Dunwich Forest
4 miles - Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Hen Reedbeds
4 miles - Suffolk Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Thorington Road, Thorington
IP19 9JG
Map reference

GPS Info
From the A12 take Thorington juction heading west. Look out for parking layby to the north 100m beyond Thorington church.

Great for...
spring flowers
Best time to visit
Apr - Jul
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
56.00 hectares
County Wildlife Site
Walking information
Difficult access for those with poor mobility. Uneven and wet ground with steep slopes and areas of open water
Roadsite parking
Dogs must be on lead
Reserve manager
Alan Miller
Tel: 01502 478788


Factsheets and guides for your visit