Sewell Cutting credit. Richard Revels

Sewell Cutting

A tranquil, flower-rich reserve created by a long-gone railway

Location

1/2 miles north west of
Dunstable
Bedfordshire.
Dunstable
A static map of Sewell Cutting

Know before you go

Size
4 hectares

Entry fee

No

Grazing animals

No

Walking trails

Paths dry, firm and level, part of surfaced cycle route

Access

Suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs

Dogs

On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

April to June, July to August

About the reserve

Once echoing to the rumble of steam trains, this now tranquil reserve has developed into a magical place for chalk grassland flowers. The steep banks of the cutting provide a contrasting sunny south-facing slope and a more sheltered north-facing bank. These opposites have a very different composition of flowers and grasses.

In summer the scorched south-facing slope is home to deep-rooted plants such as hawkweeds, scabious and knapweed while that facing north is lush with grasses. Blocks of scrub have developed, including guelder rose, whose white flowers have larger sterile blooms forming a ring around the smaller, inner fertile flowers. The list of butterflies found here is impressive with dingy skipper in spring, together with small, common and chalkhill blues. Marbled whites drift along the cutting all summer long.  

Sewell Cutting is owned by Central Bedfordshire Council.   

Contact us

Contact number: 01234 364213

Environmental designation

County Wildlife Site