Worthy of exploration, this beautiful corner of the Suffolk countryside has much flora and fauna to enjoy in addition to a surprisingly high quantity of finely designed structures, some by nationally significant architects.
An area with an agricultural heritage but which is also very sociable and offers the opportunity of sampling traditional Suffolk ales in either The Poachers Pocket Public House in Carlton or The Social Club in Kelsale. See Local Services and Events for current information.
Kelsale and Carlton were formerly separate parishes that became united civilly on 25 March 1885 under the Divided Parishes Act.
The Parishes lie about one mile north of Saxmundham and straddle the old A12 trunk road, with part extending west of the Saxmundham By-Pass that is the new A12. Kelsale-cum-Carlton is roughly mid-way between Ipswich and Lowestoft and about 100 miles from London.
It is located to the west of the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Suffolk Landscape Character Assessment characterises the type of countryside surrounding the village as “rolling estate clay lands” notable for its fragmented deciduous woodland, extensive hedgerow network, small landscaped parks of eighteenth or early nineteenth century date, winding often sunken lanes and undulating landscape.
In addition to agriculture (there are 2 organic and several other farms in the area), we also have a light Industrial Estate, (Carlton Park Industrial Estate) and both recognised and unrecognised nature reserves, in addition to several Roadside Nature Reserves. The recognised reserve, Simpson’s Fromus Valley, owned by the Suffolk Flora Preservation Trust is an entirely volunteer-run conservation charity, guided by the wishes of the late Francis Simpson. The Trust’s mission is to purchase land to “permanently preserve for the benefit of the public generally, especially the inhabitants of the county of Suffolk, sites of beauty or historical or ecological interest or scientific importance and in particular the natural flora of the county of Suffolk”. To learn more about the Suffolk Flora Preservation Trust, read www.suffolkflora.org
A number of buildings in Kelsale village have links with the Arts & Crafts movement with structures by Norman Shaw and Edward Prior. In 2018 the centre of Kelsale was awarded Conservation Area status. Further information on the village has been included in articles produced by the Suffolk Preservation Society. To learn more about the Society read www.suffolksociety.org
Community Owned Energy Cooperative
The parish has also won an award for establishing a community-owned energy cooperative, (Power4KcC) registered as Kelsale-cum-Carlton Community Energy Ltd.) committed to growing the local area’s green energy supply and making the benefits open to all. To learn more about the community owned energy cooperative, read www.power4kcc.org
The parish has a small village school with strong community links, set in large idyllic grounds. Kelsale School is a happy, caring and successful school. Parents, staff and governors work together to produce a well-resourced and stimulating environment where children feel safe, secure, valued and confident.
Within the Christian ethos of the school, children are encouraged to be kind and courteous, to develop their self- respect and to demonstrate care and respect for each other and the environment around them. They believe in a ‘culture of achievement’ in which all children and staff work towards reaching the highest standards possible. To learn more about the school, read www.thelifecloud.net/schools/KelsaleCEVCPrimarySchool