Search

Wildlife haven goes under hammer

PUBLISHED: 10:49 15 September 2008 | UPDATED: 07:39 01 August 2010

IMAGINE yourself as king of your very own ancient woodland, a glorious haven where you can wander to your heart's content, hear only leaves rustling gently in the wind and may even catch a glimpse of wild deer.

IMAGINE yourself as king of your very own ancient woodland, a glorious haven where you can wander to your heart's content, hear only leaves rustling gently in the wind and may even catch a glimpse of wild deer.

If this sounds like a dream then pinch yourself and dig deep into your pockets, because a stunning 53-acre wood in Suffolk, part of which dates back to at least 1600, goes under the hammer next month.

Abbey and Packway Wood, outside the village of Flixton, is expected to fetch £130,000-£160,000.

The auction prompts a mix of emotions for George Danby, 85, and his family, who own the land.

Beccles born-and-bred Mr Danby said the woods held many happy memories for him and his sister, Iris Brown, 88, but he believes it is time to move on.

"We are both getting too old to enjoy it as we used to," he said.

"We used to love walking through it."

Mr Danby recalled fond memories such as family picnics with his wife and three children and taking them to see snowdrops blanketing the forest floor in white every winter.

"The kids used to play hide-and-seek, but they live too far away to really enjoy it now," he said. "I will be sorry to see it go in a way."

The majority of the woodland is protected by its status as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is home to red, roe and muntjac deer. Their hoof tracks are telltale signs that they are never far away.

Since his brother John bought the land in 1961, the family has left nature to its own devices, clearing only ivy to safeguard the woodland's oak, hazel and ash trees.

Mr Danby said: "My late brother always loved woods, so he bought it intending to make it a haven for wildlife.

"We hope someone interested in conservation will buy it and look after it."

No ancient woodland would be complete without its share of toadstools, and this one is no exception, also harbouring bluebells, orchids and even wild garlic.

It is also a haven for a rare type of plant, the thin-spiked wood sedge.

The woodland used to belong to a former Augustinian abbey in Flixton, and in the second world war formed part of the Flixton US Air Force base.

Durrants auctioneer Nicholas Rudge said the sale was a rare opportunity.

"We've sold woodland by auction before and that has always commanded lots of interest, but ancient woodland is very unusual," he said.

The auction takes place at Durrants in Beccles on October 1.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Beccles and Bungay Journal

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists