Back to Nature on the North Chilterns Chalk (and beyond!)

Back to Nature on the North Chilterns Chalk (and beyond!)

Sarah Cowling

Sarah Cowling charts the Communities and Wildlife work that's been happening in Bedfordshire this year
Beaver Scouts

Sarah Cowling

After a year of little outreach opportunity I certainly made the most of it as soon as lockdown restrictions eased and it was safe to recommence activities.

It was wonderful to be able to welcome the Dunstable Beavers to Blow’s Downs once their meetings began again. We concentrated on plants the first week with some flower ID and making Hama Zome (leaf pounding) flags. Bugs were the focus of the next week with some bug hunting and mini bug hotel creations. I can’t begin to tell you how amazing it felt to be out on reserves again with these enthusiastic Beavers! 

It was also super being able to get some walks organised on various reserves. The first of these for 2021 was a Butterfly Walk at Totternhoe in April. Unfortunately the weather was not favourable for butterflies but we had a wonderful time exploring Totternhoe Nature reserve with Senior Reserves Officer Rich and local exert Wilf Powell leading our 2 groups.

Next, in May, came an Introduction to Forest Bathing at Flitwick Moor as part of the Greensand Country Festival and to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week. Nicola Scholfield from Company of Nature led us on a very informative and relaxing walk of Flitwick Moor helping us to connect with nature in a new way.  The group had a wonderful morning and left feeling “peaceful and relaxed”. After the 18 months we’ve all had taking time out in the beautiful surroundings of one of our nature reserves can be just the tonic needed.

Flitwick Moor

Sarah Cowling

Warden Hill

Sarah Cowling

School’s Outreach

After being in discussion with a Luton Secondary school about working together for the last 2 years, it was absolutely wonderful to be able to lead our first block of 6 sessions with a group of Year 7 students on Warden Hill, Luton recently. The group of students quickly moved from “you want us to walk to the top of that hill?!” to “aww is it time to go back to school already?”

Over the 6 weeks the students built on their knowledge of chalk grassland habitats – their flora, fauna and conservation management – learning new skills and helping look after this wonderful reserve.

Noreen will be working with this school in the future but if you would like to find out more about how your school can get involved with the Wildlife Trust BCN please get in touch –

Pegsdon Fun

Sarah Cowling

We kicked off 30 Days Wild here in Bedfordshire with a Butterfly and Lamb Family Event on Pegsdon Hills. Lots of fun was had both by the children attending and Fruitcake the lamb who helped Senior Reserves Officer Rich teach everyone about conservation grazing and its importance for wildlife on the chalk.

Mindfulness Blows

Sarah Cowling

Natural Mindfulness Walk – Blow’s Downs

Nic from Company of Nature joined us again in July to lead a Natural Mindfulness Walk on Blow’s Downs. After a couple of changes of date due to the weather a lovely group of people met at Blow’s to be led on a very relaxing walk on Blow’s Downs. People mentioned how lovely it was to just slow down and really focus on our surroundings rather than just rushing from A to B.  Taking some time out to just ‘be’ was refreshing and a great time was had by all.

Pegsdon Walk

Sarah Cowling

Back to Nature Walk – Pegsdon Wildflowers & Butterflies

Another highlight of July was a beautiful morning walk on the stunning Pegsdon Hills with Graham Bellamy. Graham led the group on a circular tour of the site pointing out the plethora of wildflowers in bloom and the regaling us with fascinating facts about the reserve.


Richard Knock

Creatures of the Night @ Totternhoe

Despite the weather being less than favourable we had a terrific evening on Totternhoe. We began the evening with some bug hunting and marshmallow toasting while waiting for the sun to set. This was followed by a walk around the reserve with my colleagues Rich and Gwen. Participants were entertained by the bats hunting for their supper and by the last glowworms of the season glowing in the grass. The evening ended with an introduction to the vast number of moth species who inhabit Totternhoe from our county moth recorders Andy, Melissa and Andy.

Totternhoe Moths

Sarah Cowling

It has been really great to be able to welcome you back to our reserves. Please have a look at the events page on the website to see what we have coming up. We hope to see you soon!