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Sutton & Hollesley Commons

The spooky churring of nightjar on a summer’s night – heathland heaven! These heaths represent one of the largest continuous areas of Sandlings heathland left and are at their most colourful in August and September.

The spooky churring of nightjar on a summer’s night – heathland heaven!

These heaths represent one of the largest continuous areas of Sandlings heathland left and are at their most colourful in August and September. Scattered mature scots pine, oak and birch mix with fine-leaved grasses, heathers and patches of bare ground, gorse and bracken to produce a fabulous place for wildlife. Birds like stonechat, nightjar, woodlark, redstart, tree pipit and winter visitors like hen harrier, crossbill and flocks of finch, provide interest all year round. This is one of the few sites for the delicate silver-studded butterfly. Species such as green tiger beetle, adder, fallow deer and pipistrelle, long-eared and noctule bat combine to give this heathland added appeal.

Grazing is critical to maintaining open heathland and the Trust uses a mix of sheep and ponies to do this job. The Trust has a flock of rare breed Hebridean sheep who cope very well with the poor heathland grazing and will control the growth of tree seedlings. Exmoor ponies were first brought on to the heaths in 2006 and are well adapted to the poor quality grazing and will supplement their diet with a mixture of heather and shrubby species.

The scale of the achievement in restoring Sutton & Hollesley Commons is due to one of the most enduring partnerships the Trust has been party to. The landowners, the Paul family of Broxtead Estate, have supported the Sandlings restoration since its inception, providing continuity and enabling a long-term vision to be realised.

Species and habitats

Habitats
Heathland
Species
Adder, Woodlark, Nightjar, Heather

Nearby nature reserves

Bromeswell Green
2 miles - Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Hutchison's Meadow
3 miles - Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Foxburrow Farm
4 miles - Suffolk Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Location
Heath Road, between Bromeswell and Hollesley
Woodbridge
Suffolk
IP12 3HU
Map reference
TM335471
Great for...
a family day out
birdwatching
butterflies
getting away from it all
Best time to visit
May - Sep
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
Size
400.00 hectares
Access
No

Walking information
Dogs on leads where livestock are present
Parking
Parking on Heath Road opposite isolated red- bricked building (Red Lodge)
Dogs
Dogs must be on lead
Grazing animals
Sheep and Exmoor ponies graze periodically
Reserve manager
Sandlings Team
Tel: 01394 388431