Boon’s Heath, a County Wildlife Site (CWS 2191), is an area of bracken dominated heath on a very sandy, gravely soil that straddles the parish boundaries of Aldeby and Burgh St Peter. The site boasts impressive pollarded oaks, and amazing views across the Waveney Valley. Despite not having any water on site it is visited by lots of different dragonflies and is home to such species as little owl and sparrowhawk.
Please note this site is not a Norfolk Wildlife Trust reserve.
Habitat description from the Wildlife in Common Survey
Bracken (Pteridium aquilinum
)-dominated heath on sand and gravel, with scattered trees and occasional patches of blackthorn (Prunus spinosa
), hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna
), gorse (Ulex europaeus
) and bramble (Rubus fruticosus agg.
) scrub. Some old (possibly coppiced) oaks (Quercus robur
) occur, mostly to the south-west. Other trees include ash (Fraxinus excelsior
), silver birch (Betula pendula
), elder (Sambucus nigra
) and hazel (Corylus avellana
A picnic area in the north of the site is regularly cut, keeping the bracken lower and allowing sheep’s sorrel (Rumex acetosella
) and mosses to increase across this area.
During the summer months the tall, dense bracken and areas of bramble make much of the site impassable to the casual visitor. Some paths are kept open, most notably Soft Road (the south and east boundary path), and a central north-south path, linking Gray’s Road in the north to the southern stretch of Soft Lane.
There are areas of past sand extraction to the east of the site. The west of the site becomes increasingly steep-sided, with the central low area dense with tall bracken and patches of bramble.
A newly planted but well-established field maple (Acer campestre
) and spindle (Euonymous europaeus
) hedge occurs on the northern edge of this western part of the common. Other areas of less-well established new hedging occur on the south, east and west site boundaries. There is a stretch of remnant hawthorn hedge by the north-west access point to the common.
An area of neutral grassland has been established to the immediate south-east of the site, just beyond the boundary, this includes ox-eye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare
) and Lady’s bedstraw (Galium verum