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Nayland with Wissington Conservation Society
About Us

The Nayland with Wissington Conservation Society have three meetings, with specialist speakers, each year.  We organise footpath walks in May and the long-established Open Gardens each June. The proceeds from this benefit various village conservation projects.

We have published four Nayland history books.

In 2004 following an appeal for donations, we purchased, a field beside the River Stour and within the village Conservation Area, in order to protect it from development and to conserve it for future generations.

The Society is a member of the Suffolk Preservation Society (Suffolk branch of the CPRE), Suffolk Wildlife Trust, the Dedham Vale Society and the Suffolk Local History Council. 

Our membership is currently 240 and is open to all.


How It All Began

The Society can trace its origins back to 1974 when the Nayland Parish Recorder at that time, the late Blair Lees, and his friend and neighbour, a fellow history enthusiast, started The Nayland Record, a quarterly journal which contained interesting historical articles and also recorded some of the changes happening in the village.  Some of these changes were a matter of concern to the editor and his assistant and the idea of forming a “preservation” society was conceived.   To this end readers of The Nayland Record were invited to say if they were interested in joining such a society and 57 favourable replies were received.   This led to an inaugural meeting being held in the Village Hall on the 6th June 1974.

With the help of the Dedham Vale Society, the Society was formed and later registered with the Civic Trust and Charity Commission.  It was unanimously agreed by the founder members that a “conservation” society would encompass the natural environment as well as buildings, so this was how the society acquired its name.


May Footpath Walk
Open Gardens


The parish of Nayland with Wissington lies on the north bank of the River Stour, the boundary between Essex and Suffolk.  It is six miles from Colchester and nine miles from Sudbury and is in the district of Babergh and the parliamentary constituency of South Suffolk.   It has a total population of approximately 1,200 and is situated in the Dedham Vale of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Nayland village and the adjoining rural hamlet of Wissington (sometimes called Wiston, both are correct) were united in one civil parish in 1833 although the two ecclesiastical parishes remain separate.  In 1969 the village of Nayland was bypassed by the A134 which created a physical barrier between it and its more rural partner, Wiston, which lies to the west.

Nayland has always been an industrial community whilst Wiston has been agricultural with several farms, scattered housing and a small population, currently about 200.  Nayland has the amenities for the whole parish, including shops and post office, school, doctors’ surgery, fire station and village hall.


Regional Map
The green area indicates the Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Nayland & Wiston Map