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Cople Pits

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

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.

Nearby nature reserves

Old Warden Tunnel
3 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire
The Riddy
4 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire
Begwary Brook
6 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire

Nature reserve map

Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2012. For indicative purposes does not show exact boundaries.

Reserve information

3 miles east of
Map reference
TL 103 492
Best time to visit
Mar - May
Jun - Sep
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
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Opening Times
Open at all times
2.00 hectares

Walking information
Good paths, some wet areas
Park in lay-by on south side of road, close to the turn to Cople village
Dogs must be on lead
Grazing animals
Reserve manager
Tel: 01234 364213