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Pavenham Osier Beds (In memory of Horace Church)

An attractive reserve in a riverside setting

In summer, the attractive riverside setting draws visitors from the nearby public footpath to see meadow-rue, an uncommon flower of wet meadows, in full bloom. Encouraged by the rich fertile soil, banks of nettles grow here too, the leaves of which in turn feed the caterpillars of several butterflies seen regularly in gardens, such as small tortoiseshell, peacock and red admiral.

Osiers, a type of willow, have been grown here for many years, the constant cutting stimulates their rapid growth and provides a ready supply of material for basket weavers. We are continuing the tradition by planting more osiers, which also produce dense cover for the nests of summer visiting warblers. Hops can be seen draped over the boundary hedgerows, whilst the mature wooded section of the reserve offers a secluded retreat with large willow trees lining the riverbank, giving a perch for kingfishers to hunt their prey, swimming innocently below.


The map below is for indication purposes only and does not show the Wildlife Trusts definitive land boundary.

Nearby nature reserves

Felmersham Gravel Pits
2 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire
Sharnbrook Summit and Wymington Meadow
5 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire
Cople Pits
8 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

4 miles north west of Bedord
Map reference
SP 990 551
Best time to visit
May - Jul
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Public transport
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Opening Times
Open at all times
1.30 hectares
Walking information
Muddy paths; many nettles at times
Park on roadside on Mill Lane, follow public footpath on the left to the reserve
Dogs must be on lead
Grazing animals
Reserve manager
Tel: 01234 364213