Earth Day 2018 — At Maulden Woods With the Bluebells

Maulden Woods is managed from the Chilterns & South Bedfordshire Office of the Forestry Commission. A good access point to the woods is a layby on Deadman's Hill on the A6 out of Clophill towards Bedford. Postcode: MK45 3UZ.

Apart from the pot-holed layby, there is a car park where the charge is a modest £1 per day.

Today's walk was a with a guide from the Greensand Trust. On entry from the layby, there's a good information panel, and you have an immediate choice of three good paths to take. There is a great network of paths within the woodland and our walk today was around 2 hours at a fairly slow pace, and we only circumnavigated one half of the woods.

All pictures can be enlarged by tapping/clicking.

The grasslands in the centre of the wood are managed by the Greensands Trust in partnership with the Forestry Commission, and are designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for the acidic grassland and heathland interest. The northern end of the wood is also an SSSI because of its importance as one of Bedfordshire's largest remnants of ancient woodland.


 In the mid to late spring, bluebells can be found in the middle of the wood and on the waysides. The southern end of the wood is sometimes called Pennyfather's wood.

Tiny little white carrot flower, or white parsley flower,  will be found in amongst the bluebells, wild strawberries, buttercup, and wild garlic.

Wood anemone. Anemone nemorosa is an early-spring flowering plant in the buttercup family Ranunculaceae, native to Europe. Common names include wood anemone, windflower, thimbleweed, and smell fox, an allusion to the musky smell of the leaves. It is a herbaceous perennial plant growing 5–15 centimetres (2–6 in) tall. (Wikipedia)

Anemone nemorosa 001.JPG
By Lilly M - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Maulden Wood is situated on a cap of glacial boulder clay. On the day I visited there had been overnight rainfall. Our guide told us that this had made some of the paths particularly squelchy compared to the previous day when is was dry.

Wild Service Tree Sorbus torminalis 
The service tree is quite rare, the wood has a fine grain and silvery sheen, although it has never been widely used. The fruits can also be used to flavour other alcoholic drinks such as whisky. It's just coming into leaf now, and will be worth a repeat visit in, say, a month's time. Learn more.

 Paris quadrifolia, the herb-paris or true lover's knot.
Wikipedia: Paris quadrifolia has solitary flowers with four or more very narrow greenish filiform (threadlike) petals, green petaloid sepals, eight stamens, and a round purple to red ovary in the centre. The flower is borne above a single whorl of four or more stem leaves.

Wild garlic

Midland hawthorn Learn more


Previous Walks