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View of fields and hedges

Like so much else in this unique area, farmland has a distinct character.

The grazed open heaths that are now farmland were not enclosed with hedges until much later than the rest of Suffolk, if at all. Consequently, the farmland within the Suffolk & Essex Coast & Heaths National Landscape is generally more open than elsewhere in the county.

Modern intensive farming techniques have made it possible to work the light, sandy soils successfully, although irrigation is often needed. Agricultural land is now the most prevalent land type in the Suffolk & Essex Coast & Heaths National Landscape, and large fields of cereals, vegetables and turf are a common sight.

Outdoor pig units are now a feature as part of the agricultural crop rotation on the light soils. More traditional grazing by cattle can still be found, particularly on marshes in the river valleys, and sheep are still found grazing the heathland, although now largely for nature conservation objectives.

Changes to the agricultural landscape character of the Suffolk & Essex Coast & Heaths National Landscape have been minor in recent years, although changes to agri-environment schemes following Brexit will be a key force for change in the future.