A 100 acre former quarry, now home to rare wildlife and habitats. The Wildlife Trust is managing The Chalk Pit as a nature reserve, The Chalk Pit holds many different habitats, including chalk grassland, a limestone lake, broadleaved woodland and wetland.
Wild orchids can be found, as can the Chiltern Gentian. Migrant birds arrive here to breed, such as the rare Turtle Dove. Summer brings butterflies including the Chalk Hill Blue. Great crested newts and dragonflies can also be found here in abundance, attracted to the pools and streams.
A Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire Wildlife Trusts site very well described by its own website.
Duck End is the remnants of Maulden Moor and is a good all-round Nature Reserve managed by the Greensand Trust.
Three man-made ponds are managed particularly to benefit dragonflies but the site is also good for butterflies and birds.
Owned by Bedfordshire County Council and managed by the Greensand Trust with help from the Friends of Flitton Moor, the site is a good place for butterflies, dragonflies, beetles, grasshoppers and flowers. There is also a gentle perimeter walk around the site.
A National Trust property overlooking chalk downland: good for views, walks, and spotting birds, butterflies and wild flowers.
Baulk Wood is a former landfill site transformed into a mixed habitat of woodland and meadow by planting a selection of trees and wildflowers. It’s a a great place for a picnic with surfaced paths through the wood and firm grassy paths around the meadow. There are several natural play areas both for the young and the young-at-heart, together with a small car park..
The flower meadow attracts butterflies in summer and the woodland is home to birds.
At King’s Wood and Rammamere Heath you can find displays of bluebells in spring and heather in summer. The rides in King’s Wood are good for butterflies and there is a pond which supports many dragonfly species.
The disused and flooded Felmersham Gravel Pits are managed as a nature reserve and provide a protected area for varieties of flora and fauna. It is an important bird sanctuary, both as a breeding site and for birds on migration. It has a good population of dragonflies, too.
The “felmersham.net” website has a page with a map.
The landscape at Totternhoe Knolls and Quarry is the result of many centuries of quarrying, which has developed into flower-rich chalk grasslands. The reserve can be accessed from the National Trust car park off Castle Hill Road (OS ref SP986217). The site is crossed by green lanes and footpaths, allowing lots of exploration. In spring the reserve is home to several orchids and on sunny days, there are also likely to be plenty of butterflies, including the Duke of Burgundy and Small Blue. The reserve also has Chiltern gentian, a rare flower, in bloom in August.
Priory Country Park is an established green area of around 360 acres made up of lakes, meadows and woodland, partially enclosed within a bend in the river Great Ouse.
It is managed, for the benefit of both wildlife and visitors, by Bedford Borough Council.