Countryside sites

Countryside sites in east Central Bedfordshire

Campton Plantation

Formerly part of Chicksands Priory, this 15.4 hectare woodland contains splendid old trees, is an important site for bats, badgers and snowdrops and is home to an exciting new sculpture trail! Follow the arrows around the wood and see what you can find. A great place to walk, ride, watch wildlife or picnic.

Nearest Postcode - SG17 5TQ.


Car park – Central Bedfordshire Council Offices at weekends only, otherwise walk from Shefford.
Walking - a series of paths cross the wood.
Dogs - welcome, but must be kept under control.
Cycling - on the bridleway.
Horse riding - on the bridleway.
Access - gently sloping in places, no surfaced paths.
Picnic – several benches and picnic tables.
Toilets - none.
Cafe – nearest in Shefford Town Centre.
Friends / volunteers - occasional volunteer tasks.

Henlow Common and Langford Meadows

This 13 hectare local nature reserve is made up of wet grassland and scrub and lies beside the River Ivel. Dam’s ditch, a former channel of the river, runs through the centre of the site, attracting Kingfishers, Terns and Mute Swans. The elusive otter has also been recorded here.

The grassland is managed by cattle between April and September. They eat the coarser grasses, allowing the wild flowers to thrive. In spring, look out for marsh marigold and cuckooflower. Barn owls can often be seen hunting at dusk.

The site is prone to flooding after heavy rain in any season and the informal paths can be very muddy. A circular route can be taken using the riverbank.

Nearest Postcode - SG18 9QB.


Car park - on village roads in Langford.
Walking - open access (Henlow Common) and public footpaths.
Dogs - welcome but must be kept under control, particularly around the cattle.  Please clean up after your dog.
Cycling - sorry, not permitted.
Horse riding - sorry, not permitted.
Access - entrances are accessible to manual wheelchairs, but there are no surfaced paths. Paths flat but prone to flooding and mud.
Picnic - several benches on site.
Toilets - none.
Cafe – nearest at Langford Garden Centre.
Friends / volunteers - meet on the first Sunday of each month.

Baulk Wood

This woodland and meadow were formerly a landfill site. Tree and wildflower planting has transformed the area into a beautiful place to visit and picnic. There are surfaced paths through the wood, and firm grassy paths around the meadow and natural play areas around the site to keep the children entertained. Look out for the annual ‘Running Wild’ children's play event.

Nearest Postcode - SG16 6AG.


Car park – tarmac surface including disabled bay.
Walking – good starting point for local walks.
Dogs - welcome, but must be kept under control.
Cycling – sorry, not permitted on site, but cycle parking stands in car park.
Horse riding – sorry, not permitted.
Access – surfaced path through wood. Firm grassy paths around meadow.
Toilets – nearest public toilets in Biggleswade Town Centre.
Cafe – nearest at Langford Garden Centre.
Picnic – several picnic tables and benches in the wood and meadow
Friends / volunteers – occasional volunteer events.

Blunham Railway

Situated alongside national cycle network route 51, the University Way, this nature reserve is well worth a visit. Also known as ‘Blunham Marshes’, this thin strip of land beside the former Bedford to Cambridge Railway is a haven for wildlife.

Each year bramble and scrub are cut to allow grasses and wildflowers to thrive. Look out for Harebells and Primroses in spring. A great place to stop while cycling the University Way, and a pleasant detour for those on foot.

Nearest Postcode – N/A.


Car park - part of route 51, park in Sandy or Priory Country Park, Bedford.
Walking - path through the reserve.
Dogs - welcome but must be kept under control.
Cycling - only on University Way alongside site.
Horse riding - not permitted.
Access - University Way surfaced and mainly flat, suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs.
Picnic - one bench.
Toilets - none.
Cafe - nearest at Danish Camp, Willington.
Friends / volunteers - occasional volunteer tasks in winter.

Drovers Spinney

A small oasis of calm not far from Shefford Town Centre with a lovely short circular walk through trees and beside the river. Great for a 10 minute stroll, or for a picnic.

Nearest Postcode - SG17 5DD.


Car park – Morrisons car park.
Walking – short circular route.
Dogs - welcome, but must be kept under control.
Cycling - sorry, not permitted.
Horse riding - sorry, not permitted.
Access - flat, short section of surfaced path, can be muddy.
Picnic - some benches.
Toilets - none.
Cafe – nearest in Shefford Town Centre.
Friends / volunteers – occasional volunteer events.

Gannock Castle

Gannock Castle is a medieval moated site dating back to between 1250 and 1350 AD. It is a good example of a defensive moated enclosure and a scheduled ancient monument. In recent years, a ‘Friends of Gannock Castle’ group has formed to preserve and promote the site through scrub clearance, access improvements, bench installation and wildflower planting.

Gannock Castle is also a haven for wildlife with newts, dragonflies and damselflies thriving in the moat, and a variety of birds in residence on the rest of the site.

Nearest Postcode - SG19 2AN


Car park - on Church Street.
Walking - close to Kingfisher Way long distance footpath.
Dogs - welcome but must be kept under control.
Cycling - sorry not permitted.
Horse riding - sorry not permitted.
Access - slopes, no surfaced paths.
Picnic - benches.
Toilets - none.
Cafe - none.
Friends / volunteers - Friends of Gannock Castle.

Stotfold Mill Meadows

These wonderful riverside meadows are a haven for wildlife and are managed by Stotfold Mill Preservation Trust. Please visit Stotfold Mill (link opens in new window) website for further information.

Nearest Postcode - SG5 4NU.


Car park – ample free parking on site, with disabled spaces.
Walking – easy walks, with handy signposts and information boards. 
Dogs - welcome, but must be kept on leads.
Cycling – sorry, not permitted on site.
Horse riding – sorry, not permitted.
Access – flat, surfaced path through wood. Prone to the effects of wet weather.
Toilets – inside the Mill building, check website for opening times. 
CafeRandall’s Tea Room (link opens in new window) on site, check website for opening times.
Picnic – benches.
Friends / volunteersTeasel volunteer group (link opens in new window) (very active).

Woodland Chase

A pleasant wooded walk around the edge of Chase Hill Road. The path is surfaced and great for a 10 minute stroll.

Nearest Postcode - SG15 6UB.


Car park – small car park on Bury Mead.
Walking – short circular walk.
Dogs – welcome, but must be under control.
Cycling – sorry, not permitted.
Horse riding – sorry, not permitted.
Access – surfaced paths, mainly flat, suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs.
Picnic - no facilities.
Toilets – none.
Cafe – none.
Friends / volunteers - none.

Contact us

Tel: 0300 300 8305

Email: countrysidesites@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk

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