Whether you are seeking inspiration to help nature in your garden, or you like the idea of a family day out in the heart of Constable Country, you should visit the RSPB’s first dedicated wildlife garden. The garden is situated in the beautiful and historic hamlet of Flatford, where John Constable used to paint. It is designed to teach and inspire people to help wildlife in their own gardens. It occupies a beautiful setting, on a south-facing slope beside the serene River Stour. There are flower borders full of nectar and pollen, a small wildflower meadow, a young apple orchard, woodland gardens, and a kitchen garden, all designed with garden wildlife in mind.
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About the area
Suffolk is Constable country, where the county’s crumbling, time-ravaged coastline spreads itself under wide skies to convey a wonderful sense of remoteness and solitude. Highly evocative and atmospheric, this is where rivers wind lazily to the sea and notorious 18th-century smugglers hid from the excise men. John Constable immortalised these expansive flatlands in his paintings in the 18th century, and his artwork raises the region’s profile to this day.
Walking is one of Suffolk’s most popular recreational activities. It may be flat but the county has much to discover on foot – not least the isolated Heritage Coast, which can be accessed via the Suffolk Coast Path. Southwold, with its distinctive, white-walled lighthouse standing sentinel above the town and its colourful beach huts and attractive pier features on many a promotional brochure. Much of Suffolk’s coastal heathland is protected as a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and shelters several rare creatures including the adder, the heath butterfly and the nightjar. In addition to walking, there is a good choice of cycling routes but for something less demanding, visit some of Suffolk’s charming old towns, with streets of handsome, period buildings and picturesque, timber-framed houses.
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