Despite our name, our region includes properties in Suffolk and Essex.
Many of the locations we work at are Open Space properties rather than buildings. As such, they can be difficult to find first time out, so you are advised to confirm details with us beforehand. In addition, at sites like Kyson Hill and Pin Mill, the favoured parking spot is some distance from the work site.
The information below should also be helpful in locating meeting places.
|Location||OS Reference||Post Code||National Trust Link|
|Bourne Mill||TM005238||CO2 8RT||Bourne Mill|
|Bridges Farm||TM053332||CO7 6HD|
|Danbury Common||TL781043||CM3 4JJ||Danbury Common|
|Dunwich Heath||TM477678||IP17 3DJ||Dunwich Heath|
|Flatford Mill||TM078332||CO7 6UL||Flatford Mill|
|Kyson Hill||TM268477||IP12 4DN||Kyson Hill|
|Melford Hall||TL866465||CO10 9AA||Melford Hall|
|Orford Ness||TM424497||IP12 2NU||Orford Ness|
|Pin Mill||TM206372||IP9 1DX||Pin Mill|
|Sutton Hoo||TM285490||IP12 3DJ||Sutton Hoo|
- Bourne Mill – 16th century water mill – with some machinery – on the south side of Colchester town centre. We work in the grounds, the garden, the mill pond, the sluice and the mill race as well as the mill itself.
- Bridges Farm. Suffolk farm with water meadows and boathouse. Work involves fencing, property maintenance, cutting down and disposal of hedges, and reinforcing the river bank (revetment).
- Danbury Common, Lingwood Common and Blakes Wood. 214 acres of common land, incorporating heath, gorse and coppice – all ripe worksites for SNTV! The area encompasses a Site of Special Scientific Interest, ancient woodland and military defences, which we carefully manage to encourage growth of rare flora and fauna
- Dedham Vale. Base for working on the Trust’s estate east of Dedham. Tasks much as Bridges Farm.
- Dunwich. Extensive lowland heath on the Suffolk coast. Tasks as Bridges Farm but culling invasive birch has been a feature in the past. We were also involved in the “Red Earth” project a few years back which saw three sculptures, made from coppiced trees, which were to represent the erosion along the coast. We also help maintain Mount Pleasant Farm, which forms part of the Dunwich estate.
- Fenbridge. Delightful area between Flatford and Dedham with views over the Stour valley. Lots of fencing and coppicing of diseased elms with attendant mega bonfires.
- Flatford. Lots of sites in the Flatford area. There is the Dry Dock which is flooded and drained each year and we also maintain the “Haywain pond” between the Mill and Willy Lot’s cottage. Both these activities have been on television.
Valley Farm is the site of the garden which is the focus of a “Go local” initiative which provides fresh fruit and vegetables for the Flatford tearoom. A Tuesday volunteer crew are the regulars here, but we sometimes help out at the weekend.
There are the usual Bridges Farm type tasks, but we have built an otter holt here. When the Trust acquired parts of Orvis Farm, we installed farm gates and built culverts.
- Ickworth. Ickworth is one of the most unusual and most surprising of Trust properties, an elegant Italianate house and gardens set within spectacular English parkland. The extensive wooded parkland, created in part by Capability Brown, is a living landscape rich in plant, animal and bird life. We might not have the skills of Mr. Brown, but our estate maintenance skills are quite capable.
- Kyson Hill. Small “park style” open space overlooking the south bank of the Deben, just east of Woodbridge. Site of the annual hay cut, stud post renewal, step maintenance and felling vigorous trees to retain the view of the river.
- Melford Hall. Melford Hall is a mellow red brick house largely of the 16th century. It incorporates part of a medieval building held by the Abbots of Bury St Edmunds. It stands beside the River Chad, at the northern end of Long Melford, a village noted for its wide village green leading up to the great perpendicular church.
The hall used it as a seat for pleasure and relaxation from before 1065 until 1539. Not so for us – estate maintenance in the grounds and the adjacent woods is what we do.
- Orford Ness. Arguably our most interesting property. A unique shingle spit seething with a distinctive fauna and flora and also steeped in history – both military and nuclear. Access is by boat from Orford Quay.
- Pin Mill. The Trust bought this in 1987 because they valued the standing timber. Unfortunately, the hurricane in the same year harvested the lot overnight. The aim now is to turn it into a lowland heath, like Dunwich. This has involved cutting back the invasive gorse to give the heather a chance so there is a lot of bowsaw and lopper work together with bonfires.
The other aspect of Pin Mill is the north facing escarpment along the Orwell river bank. We have done footpath maintenance, revetment work and knocked back the undergrowth in the area.
- Sutton Hoo. Apart from the Visitor Centre there is an extensive Trust estate at Sutton Hoo. As well as the Bridges Farm style tasks, we have built bridges, steps and miles of fences. This has been the site of the fabled “Megabash” where the invasive weed “Ragwort” has been eradicated so that sheep may now safely graze.