Felmersham Gravel Pits

Image of lake at Felmersham Gravel Pits

Image by Sophie Baker

Image of Felmersham Gravel Pits in winter

Image by Bob Izzard

A view across open grassland with an abundance of wildflowers

Photo by Sophie Baker

A view across the water between two trees

Photo by Sophie Baker

Felmersham Pits NR in autumn credit. Richard Revels
Image of plants and lake at Felmersham Gravel Pits

Image by Sophie Baker

Felmersham Gravel Pits

A rich diversity of wetland and grassland developed after gravel extraction


Felmersham 7 miles north west of

OS Map Reference

SP 991 584
A static map of Felmersham Gravel Pits

Know before you go

21 hectares

Entry fee

Permit required for angling, email bedfordshire@wildlifebcn.org

Parking information

Car park 450 yards north of Felmersham on the Causeway.

Grazing animals


Walking trails

A few less-used paths are slightly overgrown




On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

April to May, June to September

About the reserve

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 including great crested grebe, teal and tufted duck, while grey heron hunt along the banks. Chiffchaff, reed bunting, and sedge and willow warblers can all be found on site. 

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. We coppice willows around the pits, and manage scrub on the site to provide a diverse age structure and increase habitat. The meadows are grazed by cattle to remove the annual growth. 

Additional information

  • Angling by Wildlife Trust permit only.   
  • There is a work party at this reserve. See the work party page for more information. 
  • Scroll down to see the reserve boundary. Please note the boundary map is for indication purposes only and does not show the Wildlife Trusts definitive land boundary. 

FOR ANY MEDIA ENQUIRIES PLEASE CONTACT OUR COMMUNICATIONS TEAM:   communicationsteam@wildlifebcn.org or 01954 713500 and ask for comms team.

Contact us

Contact number: 01234 364213

Environmental designation

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)

Location map

Support our work

Did you enjoy your visit? From donating to volunteering, there are many different ways you can help us restore and protect local wildlife. We can't do this without you!

How you can help

Betony at Upwood Meadows June  - c. Robert Enderby

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