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Old Warden Tunnel

An oasis of wildflowers and bird song with a wonderful view towards Bedford

Just off the Greensand Ridge path, this reserve offers much interest if you venture 'off the beaten track'. As the path winds past mature hawthorn and blackthorn bushes, large ash and oak trees, it is hard to imagine that you are on top of a railway tunnel through which steam trains once passed. Coming out of the woodland, you emerge to magnificent views of the countryside, with a steep cutting covered with grassland and scrub falling rapidly away from you.

A summer visit will reveal wildflowers more common to the chalk in the south of the county. Pyramidal orchid, dwarf thistle, together with hoary plantain, a pretty relative of a common lawn weed, are seen. The scrub provides nesting sites and song posts for summer warblers and the cutting can echo with the song of willow warblers and blackcaps. Autumn sees the fluffy seed heads of old-man's-beard cloaking the hedgerows.


The map below is for indication purposes only and does not show the Wildlife Trusts definitive land boundary.

Nearby nature reserves

Cople Pits
3 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire
The Riddy
4 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire
Cut-throat Meadow
6 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire

Nature reserve map

Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2012. For indicative purposes does not show exact boundaries.

Reserve information

5 miles south east of
Map reference
TL 113 446
Best time to visit
Apr - Jun
Jul - Sep
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
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Opening Times
Open at all times
3.80 hectares

Walking information
Paths firm but uneven; steep flight of steps to cutting, no access to the tunnel itself
Park in small lay-by, take care not to block the gate to the trackway
Dogs must be on lead
Grazing animals
Reserve manager
Tel: 01234 364213