Blow's Downs - John Constable

Blow's Downs - John Constable

Flower rich grassland on steep chalk hills

Location

On the boundary between Luton and Dunstable. Rises up to the south of the Guided Busway. Dunstable. Bedfordshire
A static map of Blow's Downs

Know before you go

Size
62 hectares

Entry fee

No

Grazing animals

Yes

Walking trails

Mostly firm and dry; steep uphill gradient. Minor paths are slippery when wet.

Access

Take the A5 south from Dunstable town centre, take 6th turning on the left (Half Moon Lane), continue to end. Roadside parking only

Dogs

Under effective control

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

April to June, July to September, October to November

About the reserve

The steep chalk hills rising from the edges of Luton and Dunstable have allowed this site to retain grassland rich in wildlife and full of colour, with areas of scrub providing shelter for birds and insects. The views from the top of the slope are well worth the climb, passing through flower-rich grassland as you go. The slopes are home to possibly the largest population of great pignut in the country. Field and small scabious, and black and greater knapweed combine to give the hillside an infusion of late summer hues that are only equalled by the carpet of orchids in some parts of the site earlier in the year.

In spring and autumn visitors can enjoy the regular passing of migrant birds, feeding up before heading off once again on their way to their nesting or wintering grounds. Wheatear, stonechat, whinchat and ring ouzel are among the favourites that may be seen. Much of the site is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Please note parking on the site is limited. We would like to remind visitors to take all litter away with them when they visit the reserve.   

Contact us

Contact number: 01234 364213

Environmental designation

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)