Cople Pits - Pat Doody

Cople Pits - Pat Doody

Water-filled former gravel diggings, now a series of secluded shady pools

Location

3 miles east of
Bedford
Bedfordshire

OS Map Reference

TL 103 492
A static map of Cople Pits

Know before you go

Size
2 hectares

Entry fee

No

Parking information

Park in lay-by on south side of road, close to the turn to Cople village

Grazing animals

No

Walking trails

Good paths, some wet areas

Access

Yes

Dogs

On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

March to May, June to September

About the reserve

Gravel digging in the 1930s created what is now known as Cople Pits. The eleven small pits filled up with water and were colonised by various aquatic plants, while the spits of land in-between developed into hawthorn and willow scrub. Just prior to the Trust's involvement, the area nearest the road was in-filled and covered with sub-soil. Fortunately this has now grassed over and supports a wide range of wildflowers, which greatly increases the enjoyment for visitors.

The ponds provide a range of habitats from open sunny water near the road to the more shaded pits deep within the reserve. Dragonflies can often be seen hunting other insects and fighting with each other for territory, while kingfishers take small fish from the pits. Other birds feed and nest amongst the dense scrub that now exists. Great spotted woodpeckers can be glimpsed in the canopy of mature willow and ash trees as they search for insects inside dead branches.   The map below is for indication purposes only and does not show the Wildlife Trusts definitive land boundary.

Contact us

Contact number: 01234 364213

Environmental designation

County Wildlife Site