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Felmersham Gravel Pits

A rich diversity of wetland and grassland developed after gravel extraction

When gravel was extracted towards the end of the Second World War, little did people know that they were creating what would become a superb wildlife habitat. Decades on and a rich mosaic of woodland, grassland and open water has developed. The lakes are one of the best places for dragonflies and damselflies in Bedfordshire, with no fewer than 18 species known to have bred. The nearby Great Ouse brings in even more species, with adults hunting over the water and grassland. Wildfowl congregate on the open water.

In deep water areas rare plants such as whorled water-milfoil and bladderwort have established, while the shallower margins are dominated by reed and common bullrush. The islands formed by extraction now support alder and yellow and purple-loosestrife. The undisturbed grassland retains wild flowers such as black knapweed, common spotted orchid, lady's bedstraw and common fleabane and is flanked on the boundary by established hedgerows of dogwood, hawthorn and blackthorn. Elm re-growth feeds caterpillars of the white-letter hairstreak butterfly.

Angling by Wildlife Trust permit only.


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

Nearby nature reserves

Pavenham Osier Beds (In memory of Horace Church)
2 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire
Sharnbrook Summit and Wymington Meadow
3 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire
Wilson's Pits (Nene Wetlands)
7 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

Felmersham 7 miles north west of
Map reference
SP 991 584
Best time to visit
Apr - May
Jun - Sep
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
21.00 hectares

Take A6 north to Milton Ernest. Turn left on to Radwell Road and follow this through Felmersham.
Walking information
A few less-used paths are slightly overgrown
Car park 1/4 mile north of Felmersham on the road to Sharnbrook
Dogs must be on lead
Grazing animals
Reserve manager
Tel: 01234 364213