A brief history

A Brief History of Jasper’s Pightle from the 1960s to the Present Day

By Karen Baker

The land now known as Jasper’s Pightle, in memory of its late owner Jasper Walter, was acquired by Jasper’s father, Major Walter of Shepherd’s Cottage, in 1960, and he bred large white pigs on it for many years. As there was no mains water supply at the Cottage, a pipe was laid under the road from the well and into the Arc building. From there it was piped along the roadside to various drinking stations for the pigs. If one looks carefully one can still see a few of these remaining.

On the large concrete area there were farrowing units. These were eventually sold and just the concrete pens left.

There is a mystery slab (approximately 4ft by 2ft) at the top of the North Track with “WL 1909” etched into it. Why is it there? What does WL stand for? One theory is William Lowther, who owned land at Campsea Ashe, but no other details are known.

Eventually the pig enterprise came to an end, and asparagus was grown at the Cottage end of the field. This was sold at various local outlets.

At the same time, in the early 1980s, a small caravan site was set up. Only five pitches could be allowed, and they were divided into areas by planting pines to give some privacy. It was fairly primitive but much enjoyed by all those who came, and many returned. Hard to believe that the narrow path opposite the Cottage was the entrance to the site, and caravans trundled up and down the north track to the various pitches.

The north track today

Unfortunately, when that came to an end the land became a haven for bracken which to this day has been a threat to the land, depriving it of nutrients and not allowing other wild plants to thrive on the acid soil. This is now being tackled by the Trust with help from the Suffolk Wildlife Trust and a keen army of volunteers, and it is hoped to keep the bracken under control.