NATURAL SOUTHWOLD
 
9 -11 Victoria Street, Southwold, Suffolk IP18 6HZ - Tel: 01502 726097 email
 
 
In the beginning
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Southwold at war
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Southwold the town
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We are grateful for the help of the late Peter Lawson in the preparation of the information on local habitats in the popup sections.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

People and climate have shaped Southwold’s diverse habitats for birds, butterflies and sealife – for better and worse.

Once, Southwold was home to a great variety of butterflies, birds and sea creatures and the museum houses collections of many specimens. But local wildlife – as well as flowers, plants and trees – have been under threat over the years from lost habitat, climate change and sheer human carelessness.

Death's Head Hawk Moth
 

Death's Head Hawk moth in the museum's collection. Find out more. Click the photo.

How are different species coping today? There’s plenty of good news.

The once-common marbled white and large tortoiseshell butterflies have vanished. But the peacock, small tortoiseshell, white admiral and red admiral and Green Hairstreak (illustrated) are thriving locally. Buzzards and sparrowhawks are now increasing as nests are better protected and fewer birds poisoned.

Local reserve Hen Reedbeds is a great success . Suffolk Wildlife Trust has restored the area with interconnected reedbeds, fens, dykes and pools to the delight of bitterns, herons, otters, little egrets, redshank and wildfowl. And in Reydon Wood, you can see bluebells, orchids and other rare wild flowers.

Coppice stools of hornbeam in Reydon Wood

 

Left: The ancient practice of coppicing is continued in Reydon Wood. The charateristic hornbeam stumps are called 'coppice stools'. Click the picture for more.

Right: Green Hairstreak butterfly (Callophrys rubi) found on boom and blackthorn on local heathland.

           

Reydon Wood, between the villages of Reydon and Wangford, is a typical Suffolk ancient wood. The Wildlife Trust coppice the trees regularly to allow the light to encourage spring flowers.

Visitors enjoy the bluebell carpet in spring, while the common spotted orchid and early purple orchid are regularly to be seen. Insects include the speckled wood butterfly and gatekeeper butterfly

Other habitats to explore are the heathlands at Walberswick, Dunwich and nearby Wenhaston Common, the salt marshes, the grazing marshes beside Southwold Common and, of course, the coastal margins.

 
Boom, Boom!
Bittern in the museum's collection of stuffed birds

This bittern is stuffed and has been on display in the museum for decades. Until recently it was just about the only bittern left in East Suffolk. But now it has some real-life competition... Just up the road at the Hen Reed Beds. Click the picture to learn more.

Reydon Wood at  bluebell time
Stuffed Heron in the Museum's collection

Stuffed Heron in the museum's collection. Herons can be seen in Southwold's
grazing marshes.

Click the picture for more.

   
 
 

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Southwold Museum & Historical Society, 9 -11 Victoria Street, Southwold, Suffolk IP18 6HZ
Tel: 01502 726097 email

A Charitable Incorporated Organisation, Registered Charity No 1159790,

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