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Blow's Downs

Flower rich grassland on steep chalk hills

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.

 

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

Nearby nature reserves

Lancot Meadow
2 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire
Sewell Cutting
2 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire
Landpark Wood
2 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

Location
On the boundary between Luton and
Dunstable
Bedfordshire
Map reference
TL 030 215
Best time to visit
Apr - Jun
Jul - Sep
Oct - Nov
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
Size
62.30 hectares
Status
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
Access
Yes

Take the A5 south from Dunstable town centre, take 6th turning on the left (Half Moon Lane), continue to end. Roadside parking only
Walking information
Mostly firm and dry; steep uphill gradient. Minor paths are slippery when wet.
Parking
Park with care on road verge. Entrance is adjacent. Please note parking is limited.
Dogs
Dogs under effective control
Grazing animals
yes
Reserve manager
Tel: 01234 364213
bedfordshire@wildlifebcn.org