Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Gunton Meadow is part of a small network of wildlife rich habitats in north Lowestoft. Important for a variety of grassland species while the ponds support a large population of great crested newts.
A mix of species-rich grassland, scrub and incredible ponds for newts
Despite all the odds, fragments of outstanding wildlife habitat can still be found in Lowestoft. There is a diversity of semi-natural habitats which is unrivalled in any other Suffolk town ranging from coastal dunes and dry heath to fen and wet woodland. Huge development pressures have whittled away at the remaining old meadows and ancient woodland of north Lowestoft, yet a handful of remarkable sites have survived.
Gunton Meadow is just one example, saved from development by the concerted efforts of local people and Suffolk Wildlife Trust, and ultimately paid for as a planning condition when the adjoining supermarket was extended. This endeavour has secured a mix of species-rich grassland, scrub and incredible ponds for newts. Although neglected for years, past experience has shown that grassland can be restored. This was spectacularly achieved on an adjoining area of land. With five species of orchid and a host of other wildflowers flourishing under a reinstated regime of annual hay cutting, it is an excellent example of just how rich these boulder clay meadows can be.