The remarkable ancient oak pollards of Old Broom are between 250 and 500 years old and a remnant of an open wood-pasture landscape, perhaps more akin to savannah than woodland and certainly anything familiar in Suffolk today.

Extraordinary, magical, there are many ways to describe Old Broom and none would be an exaggeration.

Wood-pasture was a once extensive habitat, but much was grubbed out for agriculture, especially with the enclosure of common land. Wood-pasture that survived enclosure was often incorporated into the parkland of great estates and this most likely ensured its preservation. Today, just fragments of this important habitat remain in Suffolk, with Old Broom amongst the best.

Ecologically invaluable, the deadwood and hollow interiors of these great trees support many specialist fungi and invertebrates and the bark can host similarly rare lichens and mosses. The soils and grassland are equally ancient and undisturbed and being on the edge of the Brecks share many common Breckland characteristics, including periglacial vegetation stripes.

Owned and deeply cared for by the Hanbury family for two generations, Old Broom was gifted to the Trust in 2013, an act of great generosity that will ensure that this extraordinary place will remain extraordinary in perpetuity.

Species and habitats


Nearby nature reserves

Lackford Lakes
2 miles - Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Norah Hanbury-Kelk Meadows
7 miles - Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Mickle Mere
9 miles - Suffolk Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Flempton Road
Bury St Edmund's
Map reference
TL 802 674
Great for...
ancient trees
historical interest
lichens and mosses
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Opening Times
No public access. Access during special events for members only, please contact the Trust for more details 01473 890089.
6.50 hectares
No dogs allowed
Reserve manager
William Cranstoun
Tel: 01284 728541