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Sewell Cutting

A tranquil, flower-rich reserve created by a long-gone railway

Once echoing to the rumble of steam trains, this now tranquil reserve has developed into a magical place for chalk grassland flowers. The steep banks of the cutting provide a contrasting sunny south-facing slope and a more sheltered north-facing bank. These opposites have a very different composition of flowers and grasses.

In summer the scorched south-facing slope is home to deep-rooted plants such as hawkweeds, scabious and knapweed while that facing north is lush with grasses. Blocks of scrub have developed, including guelder rose, whose white flowers have larger sterile blooms forming a ring around the smaller, inner fertile flowers. The list of butterflies found here is impressive with dingy skipper in spring, together with small, common and chalkhill blues. Marbled whites drift along the cutting all summer long.


Sewell Cutting is owned by Central Bedfordshire Council.


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

Nearby nature reserves

Lancot Meadow
1 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire
1 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire
Blow's Downs
2 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

1/2 miles north west of
Map reference
TL 005 226
Best time to visit
Apr - Jun
Jul - Aug
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
3.60 hectares

Walking information
Paths dry, firm and level, part of surfaced cycle route
Park on roadside in French's Avenue
Dogs must be on lead
Grazing animals
Reserve manager
Tel: 01234 364213