Yoxford: Group’s attempts to save beauty spot

Some of the team behind Yoxwood, who are trying to raise funds to purchase the Yoxford wood
Hal Hum

Some of the team behind Yoxwood, who are trying to raise funds to purchase the Yoxford wood Hal Humphreys, Nick Prior, Sally Barker, Laura Greenberg, Poppy and David Childs, Gabriella King and Pat and Sandy Wallace - Credit: Archant

A group of conservationists who spent years transforming an area of desolate Suffolk scrubland into a natural beauty spot are now fundraising to safeguard it for the community.

The Yoxwood Committee has raised £3,000 in just three weeks and is now pushing for further donations to ensure the area of woodland is retained as an asset for Yoxford and its visitors.

Committee member Pat Wallace fears that without taking ownership of the land other developers could move in and undo six years of the group’s hard work.

“We want to keep it for the village in perpetuity – for ever – we don’t want to see it put at risk by other landowners,” he said.

The two-and-a-half acre plot now features more than 400 planted trees, hundreds more flowers and a number of wildlife conservation zones.

Business donations have also enabled the group to create benches for a picnic area and beach huts for a seaside-themed section in the midst of the woodland.

“The transformation has been amazing,” Mr Wallace said. “It was just a bit of old scrubland with a few trees but now we’ve pretty much got whole woodland.

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“We’ve planted 200 English daffodils and 200 more white bluebells so we’re going to have colour all year round.

“The idea is that we leave the natural habitats in tact but have areas where people can use it too – the views are wonderful and it’s such a tranquil place to visit.”

The group has been renting the site over the past six years for a nominal fee from its landowner. After learning their landlord planned to sell the Yoxwood, the committee were determined that it should not fall into the hands of developers and be taken from the community.

Mr Wallace says the current asking price is considerably lower than the market value and is keen to snap it up while it lasts.

The committee has received donations from Adnams and Britten Pears Foundation as well as discounts from companies such as Jewson’s, Ernest Doe and Botanica Nurseries. However to secure the final funding needed to purchase the land, it is seeking community donations.

To donate contact Mr Wallace on 01728 668084 or e-mail yoxwood@gmail.com