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The ridge of Greensand is a distinctive feature that rises markedly from its surrounding clay vales through Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. It is an area of gently rolling hills and small valleys, heavily wooded in parts.  It has been often planted with conifers, but there are still areas of important habitats such as heathland, acid grassland and ancient woodland remaining where you can find things as diverse as adder, green tiger beetle, small-leaved lime and lily-of-the-valley.

The valleys of the rivers Flit and Ouzel cut through the area. Flood meadows and valley mires occur in places with old pollard willows and native black poplars at the water's edge. Rare species such as sphagnum mosses and water rail can be found.

Sandstone from the ridge has been used locally for building for hundreds of years, giving the towns and villages of the area their distinctive appearance. Extraction of the sands has led to a large network of quarries in the area - once extraction is finished restoration can provide great opportunities for conservation and informal recreation.

The landscape of the Greensand Ridge - its wildlife, archaeology, history and architecture - provides enjoyment for many people today. The sandy soils of the Greensand Ridge provide an ideal area for walking, cycling and horse-riding throughout the year.

The Countryside Agency recognises the Greensand Ridge as a distinct landscape region – you can find more about this in their overview of its 'countryside character'.

The Greensand Ridge Walk
The walk follows a ridge of greensand rising from shallow river valleys and stretches 40-miles from Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire to Gamlingay in Cambridgeshire.  Gentle slopes and improvements such as the replacement of stiles with easy-access ‘kissing’ gates, upgraded bridges, and new signposts, waymarkers and interpretation boards, make the route suitable for all ages.

The route goes through land once reputedly part of Henry VIII’s hunting grounds and provides an ideal introduction to the history, landscape and wildlife of the county.  A number of points of interest along its route include major landmarks, such as Woburn Abbey and the church tower and Mausoleum at Maulden.  It links many local circular walks and nature trails.

The trail can be walked over a number of days as it has been divided into five sections, each of which has its own leaflet containing a map, directions, and details of the good local transport links and points of interest. Leaflets are available free of charge from libraries, tourist information centres, visitor attractions and other public outlets in the area.  Alternatively, maps of the walk, details of transport links and other detail can be seen on the website run by The Greensand Ridge Walk Group.

The Greensand Ridge Walk also links with other long-distance paths, such as the Ridgeway via the Two Ridges Walk.