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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

Just been for a walk here with my 2 year old twins and will not go back. It is disgusting! Every foot step is dog mess. It is unsafe for children to be playing there given the illnesses you can catch from dog mess. The owners need to pick up after their pets but the Forestry Commission need to do something as this is unacceptable! I used to come here as a child but will now avoid! PARENTS BEWARE NOT SUITABLE FOR LITTLE ONES WHO MIGHT FALL OVER!

Emma, 28/Jul/2016

I am sorry you had a disappointing visit. We do now have two dog bins installed in and adjacent to the car park and have put up posters to make dog owners aware of the need to clear up after their pets. We also have diligent wood wardens who, along with our staff, reinforce positive dog behaviour in the woodland.

Forestry Commission Response
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
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Last updated: 18th August 2016

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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

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