Broom Hill is the site of a former quarry supplying local brick makers. The quarry site and brick lined pond still remain though the site is now reclaimed by woodland, scrub and grasslands. Many old trees are present with pollarded Oaks and Small-leaved Lime and coppiced Hazel and Lime within the wooded area. Coppiced trees were cut at ground level and allowed to grow back. Pollards were cut higher – out of reach of grazing animals. Both produce many new stems which in time can be cut again for firewood or used to make hurdles, thatching spars and tool handles. Blackthorn and Hawthorn create dense thickets on the edge of the woodland whilst the adjoining grassland is grazed short by rabbits.
A number of public rights of way border the site and informal paths give access to the interior. Fine views across Hadleigh can be achieved from the top of the hill and the neighbouring meadows are rich in wildflowers and insects in the summer.
Parking is available on Corks Lane adjacent to the play area.
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 allowing easy access from the town. 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. Former ditches cross the site though most are silted up and now hold back the water rather than draining it. This has created damp open fen areas with Great Willowherb and Meadowsweet adding a splash of summer colour whilst the yellow Marsh Marigold lines the ditches in spring.
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 before 1086 when it was listed in the Domesday Book as being held by a “Free-woman” – something quite unusual at that time.