Hunger's Green is a very attractive area of Common Land in the Parish and is maintained on an ongoing basis as Unknown Common Land by Monk Soham Parish Council.
It runs from south to north from School Lane in Monk Soham to the boundary with Bedfield Parish in the North. A footpath runs along its entire length from School Road and then splits in Bedfield to come out at White House Farm and next to the School. It consists of just under 2 hectares. Two local farmers have grazing rights for cows on The Green but these have not been exercised for a number of years.
As Common Land, Hungers Green is defined as "Access Land" under the Coutryside and Rights of Way Act (CRoW) which was passed in 2000. Details of access under the "Right to Roam" legislation can be found on the government and Ramblers Association websites.
Next to The Green is an attractive privately owned area of woodland known locally as Flooks Wood, which contains a small pond.
It is an attractive example of the greens and commons so typical of the Claylands of High Suffolk, so many of which have become fragmented or lost to intensive agriculture or development. Those remaining are therefore important historical landscape features and vital for wildlife.
At either end of The Green, it comprises a narrow path overarched by mature hedgerows with ditch and bank, opening out into a wider grassland are a bordered by mature hedges and scrub. There is a small copse of trees consisting of self-sown oak to the northern end of the wide grassland and three single oaks just to the south of this area.
Ancient hedgerows, associated with the old ditch and bank boundaries of The Green contain a range of native trees and shrubs and are of high wildlife value. A number of ancient pollards and mature oak standards add habitat and structural diversity within the hedgerows. In addition, in many places natural scrub thickets of blackthorn and bramble have developed adjacent to the hedges creating a graded edge with the grassland.
In many places butterflies and other invertebrates are attracted and the scrub provides good nesting and feeding grounds for birds. The scrub may be suitable for nightingales although in places the thickets ar becoming sparse an would benefit from rotational coppicing to rejuvenate denser growth. In the shadier conditions of the narrower parts of The Green, woodland species such as primrose are found and the dappled conditions attracts species such as the speckled wood butterfly.
The grassland is valuable to a wide range of invertebrates and small mammals, which in turn attracts predators. These include barn owls, bats and insectivorous birds such as swallow, swift and spotted flycatchers. The combination of longer grass and the adjacent scrub also makes this area potentially suitable for slow-worms and grass snakes.
Historically the grassland has either been cut for hay and/or grazed and occasionally, only topped. In recent years a period of overgrazing has resulted in creeping thistle becoming a problem in places. Rabbits have also become a problem at times.
In June 2004 Suffolk Wildlife offered advice on the long term care of the Green for wildlife. Accordingly a small environmental group has been established to ensure the wellbeing of Hungers Green. In addition, an owl box has been erected.
The Green is a wonderful village asset to be enjoyed by villagers and visitors alike. Please remember the Countryside Code, however, and clean-up after your dogs.
The Parish Council, after contact by HM Land Registry, has decided not to proceed at the moment with an application for adverse possession of the Green.