Broom Hill was purchased by public subscription in 1988 and placed in the care of Coddenham Parish Council.
Since then volunteers have played a major part in maintaining the site for over 30 years.
Because of the COVID restrictions, it was not possible for the community annual working party to convene and despite some incredible hard work by Ian Jeffrey, there have been signs of unwanted encroachments and loss of control. Ian raised these concerns this summer and a visit by Suffolk Wildlife Trust (SWT) facilitated by The Coddenham Centre and Coddenham Community Response Group (CCRG) with the agreement of Coddenham Parish Council (CPC), has now reported that ideally, some areas do need addressing now. In the course of meeting Ian and Andrew MacPherson, Coddenham Centre Trustee, SWT also confirmed the unique qualities of the Broom Hill site and the opportunities it presented for local wildlife.
The CCRG has respectfully asked the Parish Council to; establish a management plan for the hill; permit an additional volunteer working party or individuals to assist Ian as soon as possible; clarify insurance arrangements for volunteers and when funds permit, allow SWT to conduct a survey to benchmark the current situation.
So far, CPC have asked for more time to consider the report, but there is now increasing concern with regards to brambles and bracken growth, which was already starting to suppress the bluebell display last Spring. It seems the additional volunteer help will not be considered at this time, although we have been advised external contractors have been booked to cut the grass.
If you share these concerns, please comment below or write direct to the Parish Clerk. No criticism of CPC is intended, but we would like to avoid any further delay, particularly as the weather inevitably deteriorates.
We will keep you updated on these pages, if we are advised of any progress. A draft copy of Suffolk Wildlife Trust Report can be read below. Our thanks to Ian Jeffrey, Brenda Hudson, Cathy Smith of SWT and many others for their support.
The Coddenham Community Response Group.