Forestry Commission logo

Discovery Pass

Discover the
freedom of
the forest…
every day of the year…

Get free parking, discounts on events and much more with an annual Discovery Pass


The ultimate free guide to our forests

Forest Xplorer running on iPhone and Android devices

Explore Ampthill Forest
(Average user rating: 2 unrated 1.3/5)

Ampthill Forest is an historic area of majestic ancient woods. The forest is formed from a number of woodlands spread out along the Greensand Ridge. The woods include semi-natural broadleaf woodlands, and coniferous plantations, all rich in wildlife and archaeology. Some of the woods have full public access, in others the public access is limited to formal routes. The woods include:

  • Maulden Wood - a fantastic network of paths and trails. Please see the Maulden Page for more information.
  • Rowney Warren (TL 124 404), this wood is largely coniferous on sandy soils and has lots of interest with hills, areas of heather and bracken, birch and pine. It has a modest car park and a great network of trails.
  • Potton Wood (TL 247 498) is an ancient coppice woodland, and contains a rich range of plants and animals. It is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest.
  • Stanford Wood (TL 163 404) is a small peaceful pine wood, on level ground. The wood gives firm walking all year round. A small lake is hidden away in the wood, and is a haven for wildlife.
  • Wilstead Wood (TL 073 438) is an ancient woodland site which is now a pleasant mix of semi-natural broadleaf woodland and conifer plantations. Pedestrian access is limited to the main ride network. The wood is one of a handful of ancient woodlands in the Marston Vale Community Forest.

What do other visitors say?

1 Star 1 Star

I have used Rowney Warren many times for mountain bike riding and have enjoyed, however went out last Friday and was appalled by the state of the trails, all over grown some were unusable and other you ended up with your arms and legs getting cut due to the bramble bush being hidden by the fern leaves. You promote this side of the woods for cyclists and therefore should ensure the trails are kept clear at all times if not put a sign up to say closed due to over growth of foliage. I know this year had been good conditions for plant growth but this is the worse I have ever seen these woods. So if this can be sorted it would be much appreciated by all cyclists who use Rowney warren regularly

Paul, 19/Jul/2016

Thank you for the feedback. Vegetation growth has been much more vigorous and speedy this year. We'll take a look and get work into our programme.

Forestry Commission Response
2 Stars 2 Stars

Agree with the comment Ian M 28/Sep/2016. Started using the walking woods for dog walks a year ago and it was our favourite location. However, since the stick and flick ruling/signs were up (I guess the notices requesting people clear up are now obsolete), it has just turned into a giant dog bin. It is everywhere and difficult to avoid as camouflaged with the pine cones. This is not the right policy for this wood. It works a bit better for Ashridge estate (the first place I saw it), but that is a completely different woodland and a lot larger. Despite Rowney Warren being a great place for families to spend some time, I would not recommend it now

AW, 15/Apr/2016
1 Star 1 Star

Used to visit Chicksands Rowney Warren lots as a child and have many fun memories, however having taken my own 2 children last weekend (September 2015) my wife and I were hugely disappointed. The amounts of dog poo was overwhelming, with dog cr@p every foot or two along the path! We had to keep our children next to us to avoid stepping in it, making the visit pointless as it was an opportunity for them to explore and have fun. While we appreciate that the woods are for everyone to enjoy, there was a distinctive attitude towards "nobody else picks up their dog crap, so why should I?". Very disappointing and a real let down to those that do make the effort to clean up their dog mess.

Ian M, 28/Sep/2015

I am sorry you had a disappointing visit to the woods. This is a very popular site for dog walking. We have had two dog bins installed near the car park, and we have put up notices requesting visitors clear up after their dogs. We continue to work on improving the site for visitors, including reducing dog mess.

Forestry Commission Response
More user comments

Please tell us about your visit

Please email us at if you have an enquiry or would like a reply to your comments.

Email addresses will not be shown

Last updated: 11th July 2016

Be a forest hero

Get the latest news, information & offers

Sign up for our emails

What's Here?

  • Educational
  • Horse riding
  • Cycling
  • Cyclists are welcome on the surfaced gravel tracks. Mountain bikers are asked to use the specialist facilities at nearby Rowney Warren Wood.
  • Walking
  • Take a healthy walk in the fresh air in this beautiful ancient woodland on the Greensand Ridge. Follow the Greensand Ridge Trail or find your own way through the network of rides and woodland tracks.
  • Wildlife
  • Much of the woodland is SSSI because of its rich ecology associated with the ancient woodland and acidic grassland heaths (managed in association with the Greensands Trust).
More about what's here


OS Grid ref: TL 1040

Get directions

Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification certifiedForest Stewardship Council certified

England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.