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Waresley & Gransden Woods

Please do not park on Vicarage Road in Waresley when visiting the woods. Our car park on Waresley Road is normally open and free to park in.  PLEASE NOTE the information under 'opening times' in the side bar to the right. 

Car park will be closed for maintenance on 2nd and 3rd March

Fine ancient woodland, carpeted with oxlips, bluebells and violets in the spring

Waresley and Gransden Woods are adjoining ancient oak-ash woods, home to many breeding birds. An abundance of wildflowers attracts many insects and over 500 species of moth and butterfly have been recorded here. There are many open grassy areas and in spring the ground is carpeted with bluebells, violets and oxlips.

In the first half of the 20th century, the wood was harvested for timber. It was replanted with oaks and sycamores, creating areas that are very different from the undisturbed broadleaved woodland and traditional coppice plots. The woods are home to many breeding birds. In summer the rides and glades are filled with wildflowers and insects that feed on their nectar, including butterflies such as the speckled wood. Over 500 species of moth and butterfly have been recorded here! 

There are also more open, grassy areas where heavy horses may have been rested during timber extraction. In spring, the woodland floor becomes a carpet of bluebells, violets and oxlips. A stream marks the boundary between the two woods, and is spanned by several small bridges.

This site is part of the West Cambridgeshire Hundreds Living Landscape Scheme.The Wildlife Trust has purchased the reserve in sections since 1976 and now owns all but one area in the north.


Read @DerekNeimann's Guardian blogpost about Waresley Wood's ash trees. 


For more information and photos visit the Voluntary Warden's website


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

Nearby nature reserves

Gamlingay Wood
1 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire
Gamlingay Cinques
2 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire
Hayley Wood
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

Map reference
TL 256 550
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Opening Times
For the safety of visitors Waresley Wood will be closed on occasional Saturdays over the winter whilst shooting takes place. The Wildlife Trust BCN does not own the shooting rights on this land but works with the shoot to ensure safe access for visitors. Gransden Wood and Brownes' Piece will remain open on shoot days.
50.00 hectares
Ancient Woodland
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
Living Landscape schemes
West Cambridgeshire Hundreds
Walking information
Gradient on walk in. Main rides good but slopes near stream.
Park in the car park on Waresley Road
Dogs must be on lead
Reserve manager
Tel: 01954 713500


Factsheets and guides for your visit