The steep slopes and dry valleys of Greensand Country create a varied patchwork of heathland, woodland, parkland, farmland and rivers. Many of our best wildlife watching sites are all within a short drive or walk of each other so you can easily visit several in a single day.
Star species include Adder and Common Lizard on the dry heaths at Stockgrove and Rushmere, Otter on the Flit river, and Purple Emperor, White Letter Hairstreak and White Admiral butterflies in the woods at Chicksands and Kings Wood. On the dry grassland at Old Warden Tunnels and Sandy Smith Bee Orchid flower in the spring and Pyramidal Orchid turn the ground purple in the summer. Even the tiny reserve at Duck Hill near Maulden is home to 14 different species of dragonfly.
In the east of Greensand Country is the RSPB headquarters at Sandy and the wet meadows of the Riddy, one of the few remaining places in the county where you can see a Water Vole dropping with a ‘plop’ into the water.
Red Kites soar in the skies right across the area, searching for food and Green Woodpeckers yaffle from the trees.
The Bedfordshire Natural History Society collects records of all the wildlife in the area and produce reports and updates of interesting sightings. Other affiliated groups record a range of other species including bats and invertebrates. The BNHS runs regular walks, talks and meetings and there’s also a YounGnats group for kids and families wanting to learn more about nature.