The ancient ash stools at Bradfield Woods, created by centuries of coppicing, are the oldest living things in Suffolk. With over 370 species of flowering plants and around 420 different fungi, Bradfield Woods is one of the richest woods in Britain and a National Nature Reserve.
In 1970, when nature conservation was still waking up to the ecological glory of ancient woodland and Suffolk Wildlife Trust was in its infancy, Bradfield Woods was almost lost. Thankfully, as bulldozers moved in to clear the wood for farmland, the tenacity of local people was rewarded and over half of Bradfield Woods was saved.
40 years on, we had the chance to buy the one remaining piece of ancient woodland that was not protected as nature reserve.
The generosity of Peter Mitchell in remembering Suffolk Wildlife Trust in his Will allowed us to seize this long awaited opportunity to ensure all of Bradfield Woods was safe, at last.