Sites in and around Hadleigh
Broom Hill Local Nature Reserve
Broom Hill is the site of a former quarry that supplied local brick makers. The quarry site and brick-lined pond remain, though the site is now reclaimed by woodland, scrub and grasslands.
Many old trees are present in the wooded area - pollarded Oaks, Small-leaved Lime and coppiced Hazel trees, to name a few. Coppiced trees were cut at ground level and allowed to grow back. Pollards were cut higher – out of reach of grazing animals.
A number of public rights of way border the site and informal paths give access to the interior. Fine views across Hadleigh can be enjoyed from the top of the hill and the neighbouring meadows are rich in wildflowers and insects.
Parking is available on Corks Lane adjacent to the play area.
Riverside Walk Local Nature Reserve
The Riverside Walk passes through an area of Alder woodland and fen alongside the River Brett.
A surfaced path runs through the mature Alder woodland from Corks Lane in the north, to a small picnic site close to Duke Street in the south.
Alder grows well in this wet area and many of the trees are multi-stemmed, providing evidence of previous coppicing.
Alder was often used to make charcoal in the past and coppicing (cutting the tree at ground level and allowing it to regrow) produced a regular supply of wood.
In the Summer months the tall trees are alive with bird song with many warblers, tits and finches present. Squirrels can be seen scampering away and the occasional Muntjac deer can be spotted on quiet mornings.
Toppesfield Gardens are a remnant of the original Toppesfield Manor (now known as Toppesfield Hall and home to the East Anglian Tourist Board).
The Manor of Toppesfield dates back to pre-1086; it was listed in the Domesday Book as being held by a “Free-woman” – something quite unusual for the time.