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Reydon Wood

Thankfully and unlike in many other woods, the coppice stools were left in situ and had regrown amongst the conifers: the subsequent restoration of Reydon Wood by the Trust has revealed remarkable old stools of ash and hornbeam.

There is a sense of being pulled into Reydon Wood; poured down a tunnel of trees and into a fragment of medieval wood whose roots are sunk deep into history.

Not only is this nature reserve a testament to time, but it is also attests to the resilience of nature. Standing in its ancient heart it is hard to imagine that this place of dappled light and flower-studded rides was once darkened and choked by a conifer plantation: a sterile pine needle mat in place of the rich humus mulch that now cushions every footfall.

The circular trail that takes in about half of the wood can be walked in 30 minutes, but with so much to see and each coppice warranting inspection, be prepared to spend much longer. Numerous dens, fashioned out from cut wood and fallen branches suggest children would be happy to while away half a day in a spot that has more than a hint of fairy tale magic about it.

In spring and summer look out for butterflies such as ringlet, gatekeeper, orange tip, speckled wood and painted lady flitting in sun-drenched glades that are also rich in wildflowers with common spotted orchid, ragged-robin and fleabane in abundance.

This wood, like all old woods, is a cultural place and local people have made a significant contribution to the rejuvenation of the habitat. In turn for a share of the firewood they have helped re-instate a 20-year cycle of coppicing that has resulted in a spectacular eruption of spring flowers to rival any Suffolk wood, including swathes of bluebells, yellow archangel and greater stitchwort.

Look out for tawny owl, sparrowhawk, long-tailed tit, woodcock and treecreeper, while in spring the recently coppiced areas are alive with the liquid song of blackcap and nightingale.

Reydon Wood trail map - click to view

Nearby nature reserves

Hen Reedbeds
1 miles - Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Church Farm Marshes
5 miles - Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Dunwich Forest
5 miles - Suffolk Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Location
Wood Lane off B1126 near Wangford
Southwold
Suffolk
IP18 6SL
Map reference
TM480788

GPS Info
Parking at junction of Wood lane, Rissemere lane east and Wood farm lane. Head west along Wood lane for pedestrian entrance.

Great for...
a family day out
ancient trees
birdwatching
Best time to visit
Apr - Jul
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
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Opening Times
Open at all times
Size
16.00 hectares
Status
County Wildlife Site
Access
No

Walking information
Access difficult for those with poor mobility particularly in winter or wet weather as paths can be muddy and uneven. Ground firm but can be wet after rain
Parking
At end of track leading to reserve
Dogs
Dogs must be on lead
Reserve manager
Alan Miller
Tel: 01502 478788

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Factsheets and guides for your visit