Sites in and around Stowmarket
Mid Suffolk District Council manages three small countryside sites around Stowmarket.
Church Meadow Local Nature Reserve
This site was once part of the formal gardens of a large manor house that stood next to St Mary’s Church. Now, Church Meadow supports a variety of wildlife.
In Spring, the hedgerows are full of small birds. Whitethroats and Yellowhammers are very commonly heard.
The meadows support many wild flowers and more recently, southern marsh orchids have made a welcome reappearance. The upper meadow is bright with buttercups in early Summer. In the lower meadow, the small pond supports many dragonflies whilst grass snakes can sometimes be spotted around its edges.
Some of the features of the former gardens still survive. The symmetrical field, a round pond, levelled embankments still remain. However, nature has quickly reclaimed the once manicured grounds.
Visitors are welcome to enter the fenced meadows, but dogs must be kept on a lead.
A small information board is present onsite.
Lying either side of the A14 flyover between the football ground and the recycling centre, this site is not a quiet day out! However, the small wet meadow has a surprising wealth of plant life. Both Adder’s Tongue Fern and Brown Sedge are present.
The area of willow scrub is largely undisturbed from where warblers sing in the Summer months.
The area has been designated a County Wildlife Site, due to its rich variety of wildlife. Grassy paths allow visitors access throughout the site, though in Winter the lower areas may be flooded. The higher ground is a former landfill site that has recently been planted as a mixed woodland by local volunteers.
Pike's Meadow is an area of mown grassland alongside the River Rattlesden close to the centre of Stowmarket.
The area is used by local people for informal picnics and games. Visitors can also make use of the outdoor gym equipment, football goals and basketball area.