The Greensand Trust celebrates 20 years of caring for our local environment

The Greensand Trust, an independent, local environmental charity is this year celebrating 20 years of action. The Trust protects, conserves and enhances the distinctive landscape, wildlife and history of the Greensand Ridge and the wider area.  It improves public access, understanding and enjoyment of the area for the benefit of everyone.

The charity was formed in 1999 as it was recognised just how important the landscape, wildlife and history of this unique area is, and that message remains just as relevant today.  The Greensand Ridge offers a mosaic of important habitats. The Ridge is one of the few places in Central England where thin, sandy soils support lowland heathland and acid grassland. These are distinctive landscapes which support specific wildlife and vegetation, so they need to be protected to thrive.

The Greensand Trust is always looking for ways to protect and enhance the Greensand Ridge and surrounding areas. It creates opportunities for people to engage with and enjoy the area, and to improve their quality of life. It raises awareness of the Greensand Ridge, which runs from Leighton Buzzard in the West to Gamlingay in the East.

Over the past 20 years, the Trust is proud to have achieved much, working together with partners and communities across this precious landscape.

The Greensand Trust has been involved in the conservation management of a range of sites including parks, national and local nature reserves and local community green spaces. The Greensand Volunteers have contributed well over 10,000 hours per annum.

Rushmere Country Park near Leighton Buzzard and Sandy Smith Nature Reserve near Clophill have been created.

A Working Woodlands Centre at Maulden Wood is being developed with the aim to protect, enhance and promote the woodlands of the Greensand Ridge for their biodiversity, heritage and recreational value, their role in the landscape, as providers of ecosystem services, and as part of the rural economy.

The Trust has co-lead on the development of a Greensand Country Landscape Partnership, a Heritage Lottery funded initiative, helping to raise awareness of the heritage value of this landscape.

The Greensand Trust has been a key player on several partnerships, helping ensure the importance of the local environment is recognised, and enabling more to be achieved through working in partnership.

The Trust helped to pioneer community-led environmental planning, and continues this work with local people through the Neighbourhood Planning process.  In these times of huge pressure from growth and development, it is more important than ever for local communities to identify what is important to them, and how communities can be grown sustainably.

Greensand Trust Chief Executive Gill Welham commented: “We’d like to thank our supporters, funders and partners, who have helped The Greensand Trust raise and invest over £17 million in the local environment over the past 20 years.
“The Greensand Trust receives no core funding, so everything we achieve together, is thanks to your support!”

For more information on our activities, the many services offered by the Trust, or ways to support them in caring for your local environment see

The Greensand Ridge Walk is a long-distance walk of 40 miles (64 km) that crosses Bedfordshire, with brief sections in Cambridgeshire and Buckinghamshire.