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Sergeants Orchard Nature Reserve

This 8 acre reserve comprises a small old orchard flanked by a recently planted fruit orchard with old varieties and recently planted traditional grassland. The nature reserve was left to the Essex Wildlife Trust in 1995 by the then owner of Sergeant's Farm.

What to look for:

When the site was acquired, the old orchard was very overgrown and the two fields were neglected after being used for a number of years to produce arable crops. Today the orchard has been sympathetically restored, one of the fields reseeded with a conservation grass mix and the other planted out as a new orchard using young trees grafted from the fruit trees in the old orchard and from other local sources.

A survey carried out by an entomologist revealed that a bee, Bombus muscorum, an increasingly scarce species, was foraging on Spear Thistle. As a result of this discovery, management recommendations were specifically targeted to encourage the survival and spread of the species on the reserve. It also contributed to the orchard being accepted into the Higher Level Scheme.

The field is now managed by grazing with the Trust's own flying flock of rare breed sheep who are allowed to graze from September to March which will ensure that the forage plants for Bombus muscorum, including White Dead-nettle, Red Clover and Red Bartsia continue to be available throughout the summer months.


Accessible at all times. Small site not suitable for dog walking.

Public Transport - Nothing suitable.

Directions - Between Aldham and Chappel turn off the A1124 into Vernons Road. Follow signs for Bures/Sudbury and turn right at the T junction. There is a small pull-in at the entrance to the bridle path with a chain attached to two metal posts.

Did you know?

Sergeant's Orchard has been accepted into the Higher Level Scheme.

Species and habitats


Nearby nature reserves

Arger Fen & Spouse's Vale
3 miles - Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Iron Latch Nature Reserve
4 miles - Essex Wildlife Trust
Westhouse Wood Nature Reserve
5 miles - Essex Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Sergeants Orchard
Nature Reserve
Between Adlham and Chappel
Nr Chappel
Map reference
TL 907 308
Best time to visit
Apr - Sep
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Public transport
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Opening Times
Accessible at all times.
3.24 hectares

Small pull in at the entrance to the bridle path
No dogs allowed
Grazing animals
Reserve manager
Essex Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01621 862960