Many people are aware of Maulden Woods and the Duck End nature reserve, quite probably, because they are all within a five-minute walk of easy parking. The Kingswood demands a little more walking, most of it uphill, to get there from anywhere in the village.
Situated right on the crest of the Greensand Ridge, it marks the visual boundary between Maulden and the Bedford levels on one side, of the farms of Ampthill on another, and of Houghton Conquest on the 3rd side.
The Kingswood, Bedfordshire
It is a truly ancient woodland, and is listed in all of the national registers.
The reserve is an important area of ancient semi-natural woodland. Some maps are tempted to suggest that it is in Houghton Conquest, while others put it squarely in Maulden. I’m happy to agree that we share it.
Additional information about the reserve is available from the Greensand Trust.
This magnificent wood and its history can be traced back before the 15th century. An intriguing variety of trees and flowers can be found in the wood.
This is my favourite time of year to visit it, and to spend a solid hour enjoying the site and scent of the most astonishing carpet of bluebells interspersed with the flowers of Anemone and the Goldilocks Buttercup.
At their best early in the morning, or late in the evening as the low light brings out the colour best.
I would encourage you all to make the trek up from The Brache, hop over the stile, then proceed following the Greensand Ridge Walk, through the farm, with a right turn before the bridge leads a path back to Ampthill. Continue uphill to the corner of the woods and see and experience this for yourselves.
The more adventurous can hike over the top of the hill and enjoy a drink and a meal at the Knife And Cleaver , before walking home. Just don’t leave it too late: on one memorable occasion, our walk home was interrupted by a very angry badger.
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