Arger Fen & Spouse's Vale

Arger Fen Suffolk Wildlife Trust

Arger Fen

Dormouse adobestock

Dormouse - Adobestock

Lady's smock (cuckooflower) - Tom Marshall

Lady's smock (cuckooflower) - Tom Marshall

Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Speckled wood butterflies by Steve Aylward

Speckled wood butterflies by Steve Aylward

Arger Fen by Steve Aylward

Arger Fen by Steve Aylward

Wild garlic by Steve Aylward

Wild garlic by Steve Aylward

Arger Fen & Spouse's Vale

Please note parking is limited. Before you travel, plan ahead and if the car park is full, park safely in Leavenheath village and use the public footpath to the reserve. Please do not park on the road verges. The car park is frequently full during peak times so we encourage visiting outside these times.

Arger Fen and Spouse's Vale is a fascinating mosaic of ancient woodland alongside fen meadow and regenerating woodland.


Arger Fen & Spouse's Vale, near Assington
CO8 5BN (please refer to the car park map marker and grid reference below when planning your visit)

OS Map Reference

A static map of Arger Fen & Spouse's Vale

Know before you go

110 hectares

Entry fee


Parking information

Limited - please park safely and do not park on the roadside verges. We are currently looking into options and potential solutions to parking capacity.

Walking trails

Generally good but muddy after rain.

Trail map


Please contact Suffolk Wildlife Trust on 01473 890089 for wheel chair and mobility buggy access to the reserve.

No drone flying without express permission.
(Permission will only be granted in exceptional circumstances)

If you'd like to visit this reserve as a group, please contact us in advance.


On a lead


Picnic area

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

March to September

About the reserve

This woodland is a fascinating mosaic of ancient coppice woodland and new naturally regenerating woodland alongside wet meadows.  

The interesting mix of trees at Arger Fen includes oak, ash, field maple, holly, crab apple, superb large alder and hazel stools. This reserve is also one of only a few ancient woodlands in Suffolk with wild cherry.

It’s best to visit in spring when you will be greeted with a fabulous display of bluebells accompanied by the magical song of woodland birds. Listen out for black cap, whitethroat and willow warbler. 

The reserve's contrasting habitats of dry wooded hillside and damp valley floor create a rich environment for wildlife and visitors alike. Many rare and declining species find refuge here including the scarce hazel dormouse and the barbastelle bat.

As you walk around the reserve you may notice many humps and areas of freshly excavated sand. This is evidence of the healthy badger population on the reserve. The woodland is important for its wild cherry trees, which have survived in impressive numbers.

Common lizards and grass snakes bask in woodland glades warming themselves in the summer sun and in winter flocks of siskin can be an unexpected pleasure feeding on alder seeds.

Butterflies to look out for include speckled wood, meadow brown, orange tip, holly blue and comma. Woodland wildflowers fill the rides through spring and summer. Look out for yellow archangel, greater stitchwort and pignut. With wild garlic, cuckooflower and opposite leaved golden saxifrage highlighting the wetter areas.  

Arger Fen & Spouse's Vale benefited from gifts in the wills of Frances and Edith Vale, Gerald Ford, Anthony Wheeler, Douglas Maule and Anne Walton.

Contact us

Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Contact number: 01473 890089

Environmental designation

Local Nature Reserve (LNR)
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)

Location map

School visits to Arger Fen

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