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Arger Fen & Spouse’s Vale

The reserves are both Sites of Special Scientific Interest and fall within the Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.


Arger Fen’s contrasting habitats of dry wooded hillside and damp valley floor create a rich environment for wildlife and visitors alike. Many rare and declining species have found a refuge here including the rare hazel dormouse, barbastelle bat and stag beetle. Arger Fen is important for its wild cherry trees, which have survived in impressive numbers. It is believed that the wood is one of only two ancient woodlands of wild cherries in the east of England showing its significance in the county.

Spouse’s Vale is a fascinating mosaic of ancient coppice woodland, new naturally regenerating woodland alongside fen meadow. The interesting mix of trees includes oak, ash, field maple, holly and crab apple with some wild cherry, superb large alder and hazel stools. It’s best to visit in spring when you will be greeted with a fabulous display of bluebells accompanied by the magical song of woodland birds.