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Raydon Wood

Heathpatch owns Raydon Great Wood, an ancient 200 acre woodland near Hadleigh, Suffolk.  We have created a long term management vision to develop a thriving hub of biodiversity.

We are delighted that the woodland now supports a plethora of flora and fauna and is visited by students completing research for their PhDs.


Surveys have been conducted by Juliet Hawkins, a consultant ecologist for Suffolk Wildlife Trust, and in 2020 one survey highlighted a total of 25 butterfly species. This total ‘represents more than 73% of Suffolk’s 34 butterfly species that have regularly occurred in Suffolk during the last five years i.e. 2014-2018 (extract from Butterfly Survey: Raydon Great Wood 2020, by Juliet Hawkins for Heathpatch Limited).

Dragonflies were also surveyed in the wood in 2021 and The Vagrant Emperor was spotted. Juliet's survey notes that 'The County Dragonfly Recorder had never seen this species and so it was quite an unusual moment. It is found throughout Africa and eastwards to Pakistan, breeding sporadically in southern Europe and occasionally further north.'

The early years of the Woodland Management Plan saw an intensive period of plantation conifer removal to encourage native species regeneration. The wood now supports two full time woodsmen and they produce carbon neutral woodfuel, whilst further enhancing the habitat potential.

Raydon Wood is an incredible showcase not just for wildlife but also for the benefits of active woodland management. To encourage others, the Suffolk Wildlife Trust ran a Woodland Management Walk in Spring 2023. 

Local landowners, the Forestry Commission and the RSPB gathered to hear speakers Juliet Hawkins (consultant ecologist), Jenny Rawson (SWT), Katie Goldsbrough (Forestry Commision) and our own woodland managers Graham Sayell and Steve Withers speak on topics from deer control to Silver birch natural regeneration. 



Visitors learning about the great work at Raydon Wood.
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