Grade of Trail:
Length of trail:2 miles
Trail is currently open
This circular waymarked route leads through a number of habitats including oak woodland, spruce woodland and wildflower rides. The waymarkers are square posts with a yellow band around the top, but these are currently being upgraded to wooden posts with an angled top with arrows. Following ride widening over recent years and a programme of rideside management works, the variety and abundance of wildflowers has increased. In turn, with more wild flowers the butterfly populations are increasing.
The Butterfly Trail runs past the Bucks, Beds and Oxon Wildlife Trusts wildflower meadow which is stunning in late summer. In addition to the many wildflower and butterfly species you can see, there are wild service trees and you are likely to see deer if you are quiet. At the start of 2001 extensive management work was carried out at Bernwood, and again in 2005 and 2010. In 2010 a series of new ponds were created throughout the woods as part of the Million Ponds Project, to improve the wet habitats in the woods. One of these can be seen off the Butterfly trail next to an existing pond.
Existing areas of blackthorn are also being managed and some areas have been planted with new blackthorn. This prickly plant is popular with the black hairstreak butterfly, a particularly rare butterfly that is found in this wood.
What do other visitors say?
4 StarsAnonymous, 1/Aug/2016
I live locally and I wonder whether people are finding the best car park. If you go the Forestry Commission one there is space for probably a couple of dozen cars. It is not easy to spot from the road as the entrance disappears into the woodland/hedge, but there is metal gateway/height limiter set back on a tarmac entrance way.
I was there with my young daughter the other day and it was lovely. Hardly saw another person. Did come across one or two bits of dog mess.
We saw several species of dragonfly, five butterfly species (not too bad given mostly cloudly weather), crickets, and grasshoppers to name a few and had a great time tramping through the woodland.
3 StarsKev, 4/May/2015
A very nice and beautiful walk and area, spoilt by the amount of dog mess on the paths
4 StarsAnonymous, 17/Jul/2014
The main car park is further North on the road. From the small carpark, head North, pass a road to the left (with Finns farm shop) and soon you will see a turning to the main carpark amoung the trees. We saw a lot of butterflys but you have to watch your step as despite appropriate bins it seems a lot of dog owners/walkers use the paths and don't understand the environmental or social impacts of not clearing up after their animals.