Old Warden Tunnel
Know before you go
Paths firm but uneven; steep flight of steps to cutting, no access to the tunnel itself
5 miles south east of
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitApril 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.