Noakes Grove

noakes-map-copyA nature reserve close to Sewards End, The yellow “P” on the map marks the gated (not locked) entrance to car park. The red marker shows where “CB10 2LW” will get you using a satnav. Then go north on Redgates Lane.

Noakes Grove belongs to Organic Countryside Community Interest Company: a not-for-profit organisation that anyone may join as a “friend” (annual subscription £5) or full (life) shareholder (£100 minimum). The smallholding is managed in a completely organic way

We raise sheep and lambs in the meadow. As well as the meadow we have a small ancient woodland, a rough flower-rich field and an area of thorn scrub criss-crossed with grassy rides that possess a marvellous array of wild flowers, including several rarities. It is a truly beautiful place. The public are welcome visit Noakes Grove at any time, on foot and with well-behaved children and dogs. There is a Forest School for very young children, occasional open days to study the wildlife and regular work parties for those willing help manage the nature reserve. Full details on the website.

Visiting Noakes Grove is free, but maintaining Noakes Grove (just to pay the insurance and tree surgery costs for example) costs a lot. If you enjoy visiting Noakes Grove, please become a “Friend of Noakes Grove” for a donation of £5.00 per year per household. You can join online at We’ll keep you informed (by email) of special events and when any of our produce (lamb, apple juice) is available for purchase.

Footpaths from Saffron Walden



Wassailing – Saturday January 6th, 3:00 pm

The Ellis Green orchard provides some of the apples for our apple juice (the rest are generously given to us by the Essex Wildlife Trust from their Sweetings Meadow reserve). On twelfth night (Saturday January 6th) there will be a traditional wassailing party at Ellis Green.

Come and enjoy some apple juice or cider, join in the ancient ceremony of blessing the trees to ensure a good crop next autumn and, in case that is not 100% effective, help with pruning the trees and planting some new ones.

The road from Causeway End (on B184 Walden to Thaxted Rd) to Ellis Green is in a very bad state of repair. Drive very slowly. The entrance to the road has a “no entry to motor vehicles” sign: this only applies to “off-roaders” seeking to drive to Wimbish Lower Green and damage the local wildlife site common land. You are allowed to drive to Ellis Green and park there.

2018 work parties at Noakes Grove

Sunday 28th January and Sunday 25th February. 10.00 am – 3.00 pm – come any time.

Our work on the roadside hedge has progessed well and we will be preparing to plant the additional trees and shrubs in the hedge.
We will also start work on clearing the rides through the Arbury scrubland.

Entry track improvements at Noakes Grove

We are still waiting for Essex Highways to improve our entrance track that leads to the car-parking spaces on our plastic mesh. This should be done soon, until then please take especial care in wet weather when using our car park.

Friends of Noakes Grove
We are really pleased that new members continue to join: either as Friends for a £5 donation per year or as full company members for a one-off donation of at least £100. If you know someone who might like to join please ask them to visit

Children’s Activities.

There are now three groups of children’s activities at Noakes Grove. The latest is:

Relaxation and Mindfulness Retreats: At the Retreat we teach relaxation and mindfulness by encouraging children to use their senses in a fun and interactive way. Children are guided by their innate love for the natural world. The retreat will enable children to learn lifelong skills towards good health and wellbeing. Together we will create a relaxing story that can be used at home benefiting the whole family.
After-school seasonal sessions run on Tuesdays all year at 3.45 pm – 5.15 pm starting in September. For more information please contact. Nikki at (07966579345) or visit

The established groups are:

Forest school: In the middle of Noakes Grove, under the shade of an ancient oak tree, is a ring of oak-logs. On alternate Fridays these make an outdoor classroom for Nelly’s Den. Pre-school children (and their mums or dads) come from 10 until 11.30. There is always a snack and drink, children can dig and search for bugs, sing songs, play games, use tools to make natural crafts, learn about the natural world and promote nature connection.

Run by Tara Webb, you can find out more about Nelly’s Den at or at their Facebook page Email Nelly’s Den

Home-schooling group: On Tuesdays a wider age range of children spend several hours at Noakes Grove (again with their parents or carers). This is the local home-schooling group who make the whole of Noakes Grove their classroom for a day.

Contact Saffron Walden and Bishop’s Stortford Home Education Group email (Isabelle):