Old Warden Tunnel

A view from Old Warden Tunnel with oilseed rape and hawthorn blooming

By Mark Chapman

Old Warden Tunnel

An oasis of wildflowers and bird song with a wonderful view towards Bedford


5 miles south east of Bedford
A static map of Old Warden Tunnel

Know before you go

4 hectares

Entry fee


Grazing animals


Walking trails

Paths firm but uneven; steep flight of steps to cutting, no access to the tunnel itself


5 miles south east of 


On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

April to June, July to September

About the reserve

Just off the Greensand Ridge path, this reserve offers much interest if you venture 'off the beaten track'. As the path winds past mature hawthorn and blackthorn bushes, large ash and oak trees, it is hard to imagine that you are on top of a railway tunnel through which steam trains once passed. Coming out of the woodland, you emerge to magnificent views of the countryside, with a steep cutting covered with grassland and scrub falling rapidly away from you.

A summer visit will reveal wildflowers more common to the chalk in the south of the county. Pyramidal orchid, dwarf thistle, together with hoary plantain, a pretty relative of a common lawn weed, are seen. The scrub provides nesting sites and song posts for summer warblers and the cutting can echo with the song of willow warblers and blackcaps. Autumn sees the fluffy seed heads of old-man's-beard cloaking the hedgerows.   

Additional 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

County Wildlife Site

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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