Clophill Lakes

The Greensand Trust wishes to establish a Nature Reserve, enabling otters, sand martins and colourful dragonflies in the wetlands, to skylarks and wildflowers in the grassland areas.  We will also provide public access in a sensitive and sustainable manner which conserves and enhances these emerging habitats, whilst enabling visitors to share in the benefits this very special environment provides.

Please help us achieve this by supporting our Clophill Lakes Appeal 

We’re delighted to announce our Clophill Lakes Appeal has received a huge boost in funding, thanks to The Peter Smith Charitable Trust, bringing our new nature reserve ever closer.

As promised all funds donated during 2022 were doubled thanks to a generous offer by the charitable trust led by our patron and former chairman Peter Smith MBE to match all donations made in 2022 – this resulted in a £10K donation. In addition a further £120K has been awarded, bringing us almost half way to our funding target of £295K.

We still need your help to raise the funds we need to complete all establishment works - please donate now! Donations can be made at

Public tree planting event

As part of our establishment works to transform Clophill Lakes, we held a public tree planting day in February. We were pleased to be joined by around 35 locals who worked alongside our volunteers and rangers – they managed to plant around 700 trees, according to our Ranger Bob, so well done to everyone who lent a hand!

Otters spotted on site!

Our Ecologist Dr Sue recently spotted two otters swimming upstream! They swam a short distance before getting out onto the bank and disappearing into the bramble. She thinks it was probably a female and an almost full-grown cub as the second was following closely and slightly smaller.


Dr Sue said:

That’s my first sighting of an otter in Bedfordshire which goes to show how elusive they are. I’ve seen loads of trail cam footage, and lots of their spraint (droppings), but never actually seen one in the wild. Although otters had declined to the point of being thought extinct in Bedfordshire by the 1980s they’ve slowly made a comeback. Signs were first seen in the Clophill area in the early 2000s and since then have become more regular. It’s likely otters have been well-established along the River Flit for at least 10 years now. It’s amazing how such a big animal is so rarely seen, although it isn’t difficult to find the signs they leave behind if you know what to look for.


Burst Sewage Pipe

Anglia Water and the Environment Agency have both attended site to inspect the issue and as landowners we have facilitated access so repairs, removal of contamination and reinstatement can be completed. The EA and ourselves are monitoring the situation.