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.
Know before you go
Parking informationLimited - please park safely and do not park on the roadside verges. We are currently looking into options and potential solutions to parking capacity.
Generally good but muddy after rain.
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.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitMarch 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 and Douglas Maule.