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A small yet impressive wood of majestic beeches

The Beechwoods were planted on arable land in the 1840s. Medieval plough terraces are still visible beneath the trees. Delicate white helleborines thrive on the dry chalky soil, pushing up their flowering spikes in the spring before the budding beech-leaves can cast their deep cool shade. These orchids are usually found under beech, and this nature reserve is one of their most northerly outposts.

The original beech trees are all mature, and beech-bark fungi combined with autumn gales have caused many of them to fall in recent years. Saplings have sprung up in the gaps, and the wood is now developing a more varied structure. West of the old wood, local people planted a new area of broadleaved trees in 1992. Because this area has a greater variety of trees it will mature to provide a range of habitats to complement the old beech wood. In years with a good beech-mast crop, large flocks of bramblings gather to exploit the rich food source.

Listen here to an episode of Ramblings with Clare Balding and Robert Macfarlane as they take a walk through Beechwoods nature reserves.


This nature reserve is part of the Cambridgeshire Chalk Living Landscape


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

Species and habitats

Great Spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker, Nuthatch, Hoverfly, Beech

Nearby nature reserves

Cherry Hinton Chalk Pits
1 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire
Fulbourn Fen
3 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire
Trumpington Meadows
3 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

Wort's Causeway
Map reference
TL 485 547
Get directions
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Public transport
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Opening Times
Open at all times
10.00 hectares
Local Nature Reserve (LNR)
Living Landscape schemes
Cambridgeshire Chalk
Walking information
Wood can be dangerous in high winds because the beeches may shed branches
Park in layby opposite the wood
Dogs must be on lead
Grazing animals
Reserve manager
Tel: 01954 713500