Spouses Vale is an ancient woodland, managed and owned by the Suffolk Wildlife Trust
The Woodland has an interesting mix of tree species, including oak, ash, field maple, holly and crab apple. In addition there are wild cherry, large alders and very old hazel. The spring visit is the most rewarding with a wonderful show of bluebells, accompanied by the magical song of nightingales.
Survey work has revealed the presence of the scarce yellow necked mouse and even rarer dormouse.
Spouse Vale forms part
of the Arger Fen site of Special Site
of Scientific Interest. The wood once was a mix of species rich fen meadows
and broadleaf woodland. It then became overgrown with scrub due to the
lack of grazing and was also planted with conifers.
meadows are kept wet by spring flushes on the mid slopes, here sandy gravel meets
peat, ideal for wetland plants, dragonflies, amphibians and many species of butterflies
including the meadow brown and orange tip.
The old hawthorn hedgeline and track in the middle of the wood dates from the 19th century.
Misses Edith and Frances
Vale generously purchased the reserve for the Suffolk Wildlife Trust back
in 1998. Subsequently the reserve was renamed from Spouses Grove to Spouses
Vale, in recognition of this donation.
The work to maintain the site is made possible by the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, MAFF, English Nature, Francis Vale and a dedicated host of volunteers.
There is no public access to the adjacent meadows.
to Suffolk Wildlife Trust.