Gamlingay wood - Bob Parker

Gamlingay wood - Bob Parker

A magical ancient woodland, perfect for a visit any time of year

Location

Gamlingay Road (B1040), one mile northeast of Gamlingay
Cambridgeshire

OS Map Reference

TL 240 537
A static map of Gamlingay Wood

Know before you go

Size
70 hectares

Entry fee

No

Parking information

Parking available at entrance

Grazing animals

No

Walking trails

There are numerous pathways throughout the wood, including the 3-km Rippengal's Walk, named for Robert Rippengal, an archaeologist by training. Robert was the founder and director of a Cambridge-based company selling wood-fuelled renewable heating systems. He enjoyed walking in the woods and was inspired by the Trust’s Vision of expanding and joining its woodlands. After he died tragically while walking in the mountains, his friends and family felt that supporting the Trust’s woodland work was a fitting memorial.

Access

Wide level main rides. Some minor paths are rough. All can be very wet and muddy in winter and spring, especially during bluebell season.

Dogs

On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

spring and autumn

About the reserve

This site has been woodland for at least a thousand years, and the character and diversity of wonderful wildlife here reflects it. 

For centuries, the wood has been important to the local community as a valuable source of building materials and firewood. We continue to carry out traditional coppicing, supplying thatching materials, stakes for hedgelaying and even beanpoles in Gamlingay to this day. The wood is primarily oak, ash and field maple, with an understorey of hazel and hawthorn.

In parts of the wood, conifers were planted after the Second World War; we are gradually removing these. Due to the different soil types throughout the wood, the flora here is very diverse. On sandier soils there are bracken, primroses and foxgloves, whereas on the clay soils, bluebells, oxlips and wood anemones thrive.

Myriad insects live in the wood, including speckled wood and purple hairstreak butterflies, longhorn beetles and several species of dragonfly. Along the grassy rides and paths, clouds of butterflies rise up from the flowers, then, as dusk gathers, bats hawk along the rides to take advantage of the abundance of moths. Birds are active year-round, whether trilling warblers, tapping woodpeckers or hooting owls. 

Nearby Sugley Wood is former arable land purchased by the Trust in 2002. Slowly reverting to woodland, it is already home to many mammals, while farmland birds such as yellowhammer and skylark fly overhead. In the evening, barn owls hunt silently. 

We mow the rides and paths and coppice along the edges to allow more light for flowers and butterflies. Sections of the wood are fenced to prevent deer damage. There is a volunteer work party at this reserve. See the work party page for more information. 

Contact us

Contact number: 01954 713500

Environmental designation

Ancient Woodland
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)