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Little Linford Wood

Experience a sense of timelessness in Little Linford Wood - an ever-changing wildlife haven set in a sea of arable fields.

A woodland reborn

Little Linford Wood is a great example of how nature abhors a vacuum and has immense powers of recovery after a setback. The woodland is now recovering after large parts were clear felled in 1980, just before BBOWT took over the site.

New and old

As you look around you will notice that much of the woodland is relatively young, as it is still fighting its way back. When woodlands regrow after felling, they become dense with both saplings and stump growth fighting for the light and space. This tight, impenetrable stage of young regrowth is favoured by a wealth of wildlife, seeking cover and protection.

Birds such as warblers skulk among the leaves. Small mammals such as mice and voles, in turn, attract predators. Nature is taking maximum advantage of this stage in the woodland's regrowth.

Alongside the younger woodland are some areas of more mature oak and ash with field maple interspersed. Indicators of ancient woodland, such as herb-Paris, can be found on the woodland floor.

Dormouse heaven

Dormice particularly benefit from the hazel areas of the woodland. In 1998, a population of dormice was introduced, some of which were displaced by the Channel Tunnel rail link.

These tiny creatures were given the freedom of the woodland and have thrived here. In summer, they live high up in the canopy feeding on nuts, berries and insects, while they spend the winter sleeping deeply in special boxes provided by the Trust. These boxes are easily recognisable as they have no hole in the front, but instead, have a hole in the back against the tree trunk so that the dormice can climb inside. Please don't open the boxes as the dormice are vulnerable to disturbance. Only licensed dormice surveyors can do this.

Sound of the birds

The great spotted woodpecker prefers the areas of mature woodland, where it can drum high up in trees to attract mates. They also make a sharp, single 'chik' sound that can be heard all year round but is particularly easy to hear in winter when the leaves have fallen and the sound travels well. When you hear it look out for this large black, white and red bird high up on the branches or trunk of a tree.

Overhead you may see buzzards or kestrels scanning the ground for prey. A quiet walk down the rides early morning or evening could give you a glimpse of a fox. In winter, the doleful hoots of tawny owls can be heard calling from the woodland edge.

Cunning carnivores

Look out for the elusive stoat along the woodland rides. This sleek and nimble predator hunts voles, mice and birds in the long grass and bramble at the woodland edge and in denser woodland. Keep still if you see one as they can be very curious and may stick their head up to check you out.

Another mustelid and cousin of the stoat is the badger, a shy, nocturnal animal. Look out for evidence of their night-time worm forays at the path edged where you will find small 'snuffle holes' where worms have been dug out.

Grassy rides

The wide grassy rides are carefully maintained to create perfect conditions for sun-loving insects such as butterflies. The subtle tones of meadow brown and ringlet butterflies can be glimpsed along the woodland ride on warm, sunny days.

Rides are fringed with dense bramble, ferns and wild flowers such as primroses and common spotted-orchids. Tall plants such as teasel provide rich pickings for finches that strip them of their seeds. 

Things to do

Your photographs of Little Linford Wood

Share your photos of Little Linford Wood with us. Just add them to our BBOWT flickr group and tag them with 'Little Linford Wood'.

Nearby nature reserves

Mill Crook and Grafton Regis Meadow
4 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire
Stoke Bruerne Brick Pits
6 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire
Foxcote Reservoir
9 miles - Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Reserve information

4.5 miles north of
Milton Keynes
MK16 8LU
Map reference
SP 834 455
Great for...
getting away from it all
Best time to visit
Mar - Dec
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
Picnic facilities
42.50 hectares
Walking information
Flat; muddy when wet; bumpy in places; several short bridge; benches, gates on some entrances.
On the B526 north from Newport Pagnell, take road on left to Haversham. After 0.5 miles take private road on right (look for small badger sign on edge of track); the farm gate is usually open, but in the event of it being closed please park nearby. Drive slowly (10mph) on the track for 1 mile to surfaced car park which is open from dawn til dusk, 100 m past Dairy Farm.
Dogs must be on lead
Reserve manager
Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT)
Tel: 01442 826774

Smartphone Safari

Every weekend on BBC Radio Berkshire and BBC Radio Oxford we broadcast a Smartphone Safari. Listen along as we explore some of our fantastic reserves and introduce you to the wildlife you can see.