Green spaces around Ipswich (text version)

Alderman CanalA Local Nature Reserve next to Alderman Road Recreation Ground (just behind the Ipswich Town football ground). Although quite a small nature reserve, it’s location near to Ipswich town centre makes it very special.
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Ashground PlantationWet woodland next to the Belstead Brook, which floods when the brook overflows. Trees are mainly alder and willow. There are areas of standing dead trees, which provide habitat for bats, birds and insects. Boardwalks are provided for the wettest areas, and a viewing tower allows you to look out over the wet meadows.
Belmont Road Wood
Belstead Brook ParkBelstead Brook Park is an informal country park, extending to about 250 acres, offering opportunities for people to explore well managed countryside right on the edge of town.
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Belstead Lower MeadowsThe meadows on the south side of Belstead Brook tend to be quite damp, with a wonderful display of meadowsweet in early summer.
Belstead MeadowsWildflower meadows that are grazed by cows during the summer.
Belstead Road tree beltNarrow belt of trees that runs along next to Belstead Road.
Bixley HeathA Local Nature Reserve with heather, acid grassland, woodland, scrub, sedge and reed beds and scarce swamp vegetation. This site is managed by Ipswich Borough Council.
Bobbits Lane - continuation
Bobbits Lane MeadowsThe wet meadows and pools are popular with herons and egrets, and provide the breeding grounds for a large toad colony. There have also been signs of otter and water vole. A mound provides views over the pools.
Bridge Wood, Orwell Country ParkAn Ipswich Borough Council owned Country Park, managed by their Wildlife and Education Ranger team. More information (
Burnett MeadowA wildflower meadow that contains a well-equipped children's play area and a gym trail. A good place to see a range of butterflies and moths, including the Burnett Moth.
Cedarwood GreenWildflower verges running along either side of the cycle path.
Chantry ParkA large formal park with lots of trees and areas of wildflower meadow. The park is managed by Ipswich Borough Council.
Chestnut Pond
Christchurch ParkHistoric Christchurch Park has been a place of recreation and relaxation in the heart of Ipswich for nearly a thousand years. A beautifully landscaped park covering over 33 hectares, this town centre oasis is a haven for wildlife whilst also hosting numerous activities and events throughout the year. The park is managed by Ipswich Borough Council.
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Ellenbrook MeadowPart of this former playing field have been allowed to grow as long grass, to encourage wild flowers, butterflies, moths and other insects.At several places paths branch off to run by the brook.
Ellenbrook Open SpaceBelstead Brook runs through this small park. In addition to the children's play area and areas of short grass, there are areas of long grass and a variety of shrubs and trees.
Farthing Wood
Former St Mary's ConventA public path from St Anthony's Crescent to Trafalgar Close passes through a woodland, with some huge mature trees. Slow worms can be found in the more open areas.
Grundisburgh Millennium MeadowWet grassland. The meadow is managed by the Grundisburgh Conservation Group supported by the Greenways Countryside project.
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Holywells ParkHolywells Park is a beautiful park with rolling grounds, spring-fed ponds and woodland. The park is managed by Ipswich Borough Council.
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Kiln MeadowTussocky grass provides an ideal habitat for toads to feed and hibernate. Wild flowers abound amongst the long grass. Grass snake, slow-worm and common lizard are all found here. The hedgerows provide habitat for hazel dormice. Local Nature Reserve and County Wildlife Site.
Legion GreenAn area of long grass and wild flowers alongside Ropes Drive next to the Kesgrave British Legion War Memorial. The flowers attract bees, butterflies, moths and a range of other insects.
Limes Pond
Long Strops Pond
Lyttleton's Meadow
Martlesham CommonA heathland site - a remnant of the Sandlings heaths - with heather and acid grassland. It is owned by Martlesham Parish Council and is managed by Greenways.
Martlesham HeathLowland heath is typified by poor, sandy, acidic soil and is home to a number of characteristic species of plants (such as gorse, heather and birch), adders, and many rare insects and other invertebrates such as the Silver-Studded Blue butterfly. Lowland heath is also important for birds such as nightjar, stonechat and the Dartford warbler. A Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). This site is managed by Martlesham Heath SSSI Ltd.
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Mill StreamWet carr, ponds and wood/scrub. Water voles are present. A line of old oak trees run along the parish boundary. World War 1 firing butts still in place.
Millennium WoodA young wood started in 2000 as an extension to Spring Wood. Oak trees were planted as a nursery crop, along with some hazel, however the majority of trees are a result of natural regeneration. The wood is now well-established, and provides habitat for hazel dormice. Local Nature Reserve and Country Wildlife Site.
Netley Close open spaceA small area of long grass at the top of Netley Close provides space for wildflowers, bees and other insects.
Old CemeteryThe Old Cemetery is a haven for wildlife. It is managed by Ipswich Borough Council.
Purdis HeathA heathland site that is a remnant of the Sandlings heaths that used to run from Ipswich to Lowestoft. The core of the site is heather, gorse, bracken and acid grassland, surrounded by oak and birch trees. Butterfly Conservation is leading a project to conserve the few remaining silver-studded blue butterflies on the site. Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
River PathWalk alongside the River Gipping from Stoke Bridge to Sproughton. A leaflet is available with a map of the walk and information about points of interest. Signs along the length of the path give destinations and distances.
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Rushmere CommonA remnant of the Sandlings heath with heather, gorse, grassland and pockets of woodland. This site is managed by the Rushmere Commoners.
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SandlingsAcid grassland, wildflower meadows, scrub and woodland. The site is notable for 22 species of butterfly, including white letter hairstreak and up to 70 species of bird have been spotted in the reserve.
Local Nature Reserve.
Spring WoodAn ancient woodland, including small-leaved lime, hornbeam, oak, ash, sweet chestnut and hazel coppice. Rich variery of spring flowers: wood anemone, bluebells, wood sorrel, yellow archangel and wood spurge. A stream runs through the middle of the wood. Provides habitat for a wide range of birds and animals including nightingales, hazel dormice, Weasels and a huge colony of toads.
Local Nature Reserve and County Wildlife Site.
Stoke Park WoodMixed woodland with glades, and a meadow. The site was originally known as Fishpond Covert, part of Stoke Park estate. Specimen trees date from the Victorian period.
Local Nature Reserve and County Wildlife Site.
The DalesThe Dales Local Nature Reserve is part of one side of a now dry valley, which at one time ran perpendicular to the Gipping valley. It contains a mosaic of different habitats, the majority of which are secondary woodland of various ages. There are a number of areas of dense scrub that grade into the woodland and dominate the drier slopes. There are two ponds fed by springs, together with seasonal pools. The Dales is managed by Ipswich Borough Council.
Warren HeathOnly a small part of the original heathland remains - the rest was lost to housing development and the Sainsburys supermarket.
Whitton Footpath LinkAlthough this path has been in existence for many years, it was only formally recognised as a public footpath in 2011.