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Groton Wood

It shouldn’t really be possible to get lost in this fragment of ancient coppiced woodland. But with an atmospheric circular trail, criss-crossed by a network of paths made by exploring feet, deer and bulldozing badgers, Groton Wood really does feel much bigger than its 30 acres.

Parking at the lay-by next to the entrance, it only takes a few steps to reach sun-dappled rides that burst with spectacular spring-time displays of bluebell, pignut and early-purple orchid. Those looking carefully in the shadier areas can also spot violet helleborine, woodruff and herb-paris.

The nectar-rich plants support a wide range of butterfly – 15 species have been recorded on the reserve – including brimstone, speckled wood and purple hairstreak, whose caterpillars feed on oak.

Yet despite the obvious floral splendour of woodland in spring, many of Groton’s treasures can be found throughout the year.

As well as the many grand old cherry trees, the reserve is noted for its beautiful and rare coppices of small-leaved lime, an indication that the northern part of the wood has existed since prehistoric times. And, standing under the coppice’s distinctive buff-coloured boughs it is hard not to feel a connection with the previous generations that have worked and walked here, who touched the same smooth bark and heard the same winds knocking through the trees.

Groton Wood is also unusual in that is has 22 seasonal ponds. These are good places to spot frog, toad and newt, including the highly protected great crested newt.

With many of the ponds fringed by deep cover, they are also a perfect spot for watching the wood’s many birds, which range from the summer songsters of black cap, willow warbler and chiff chaff to resident woodcock, nuthatch and all three species of woodpecker.

The circular route around Groton only takes about 25-30 minutes but be prepared to lose yourself for much longer.  

Nearby nature reserves

Arger Fen & Spouse's Vale
6 miles - Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Cornard Mere
6 miles - Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Bull's Wood
8 miles - Suffolk Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Location
West of Kersey near Hadleigh
Hadleigh
Suffolk
IP7 6HD
Map reference
TL976428

GPS Info
Car park at the south western corner of the wood off Howe road.

Great for...
ancient trees
fungi
historical interest
Best time to visit
Mar - Sep
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
Size
20.00 hectares
Access
No

Walking information
Can be wet and muddy in the winter.
Parking
At entrance to reserve
Dogs
Dogs must be on lead
Reserve manager
Tel: 01284 728541

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Factsheets and guides for your visit