Gunton meadow nature reserve Suffolk Wildlife Trust

By Steve Aylward

Green winged orchid by Steve Aylward

Green winged orchid by Steve Aylward

Gunton Meadow nature reserve Suffolk Wildlife Trust

By Steve Aylward

Cowslip by Steve Aylward

Cowslip by Steve Aylward

Gunton Meadow nature reserve Suffolk Wildlife Trust

By Steve Aylward

Gunton meadow nature reserve Suffolk Wildlife Trust

By Steve Aylward

Gunton Meadow Nature Reserve

Gunton Meadow is part of a small network of wildlife-rich habitats in north Lowestoft. The meadows are important for a variety of grassland species while the ponds support a large population of great crested newts.

Location

Leisure Way, Gunton, north Lowestoft
Lowestoft
Suffolk
NR32 4TZ

OS Map Reference

TM539961
A static map of Gunton Meadow Nature Reserve

Know before you go

Size
2 hectares

Entry fee

Free

Walking trails

Can be muddy

Access

Not suitable for wheelchairs

Dogs

Dogs permitted

When to visit

Opening times

Dawn until dusk

Best time to visit

May to July

About the reserve

Despite all the odds, fragments of outstanding wildlife habitat can still be found in Lowestoft. There is a diversity of semi-natural habitats here which is unrivalled in any other Suffolk town ranging from coastal dunes and heathland to fen and wet woodland. Gunton Meadow is a habitat mosaic of species-rich grassland, scrub and ponds for newts.

Huge development pressures have whittled away at the remaining old meadows and ancient woodland of north Lowestoft, yet a handful of remarkable sites have survived. Gunton Meadow is just one example, saved from development by the concerted efforts of local people and Suffolk Wildlife Trust, and ultimately saved as a planning condition when the adjoining supermarket was extended. This endeavour has secured a mix of species-rich grassland, scrub and incredible ponds for newts. Although neglected for years, the grassland has been restored. This was spectacularly achieved on an area of land north of Leisure Way which Suffolk Wildlife Trust also manage. Here five species of orchid including twayblade, green-winged and common spotted along with a host of other wildflowers are flourishing under a reinstated regime of annual hay cutting. These wildflower-rich meadows in turn support a wealth of butterfly species such as skippers, ringlet and common blue. It is an excellent example of just how biodiverse these boulder clay meadows can be.

The areas of scrub across the site are home to nesting bullfinch, greenfinch and long-tailed tits in the spring and summer. Throughout winter you can see huge flocks of finches feeding high in the trees. As well as newts, the ponds on site are full of frogs and toads whose life cycle can be witnessed from frogspawn in the ponds, to tiny froglets on the pond edges in summer, to adult common frog feeding on insects in the meadows.

Contact us

Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Contact number: 01473 890089

Environmental designation

County Wildlife Site

Location map