The Elveden Estate comprises a mosaic of habitats of which arable land, forestry, shelterbelts and Breckland heathland are the major components. The twelve heathlands cover around 3600 acres; the largest being the 1500 acres of Lakenheath Warren.
Rare Flora and Fauna
Each heath is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), principally due to their floristic composition, having a number of exceptional and specialist plants that have adapted to the dry, frost-prone Brecks climate and nutrient-poor sandy soils. Speciality flora includes Breckland thyme and speedwell, Spanish catchfly and Perennial knawel.
The heaths also support a number of rare and specially-protected birds including Woodlark, Nightjar and Stone Curlew. The latter species also readily nests on the arable fields so, in order to best protect the eggs and chicks from potential harm, the conservation team works very closely with the farms department and, under a special license, helps safeguard this iconic bird.
Close Attention to Conservation
In addition to the SSSI management, the Estate has its own conservation group which helps monitor and advise us on many conservation matters such as the management of our 14 County Wildlife Sites, rare plant sites and targeted field margins. Surveys are also carried out for farmland birds, reptiles, bats and barn owls with appropriate boxes being sited around the estate for the last two on the list.
Our conservation work is delivered by a team of professional staff, dedicated labour contractors and volunteers, without whom we would not be able to achieve the environmental improvements and carry out the monitoring work that we undertake annually.