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Shortstown | Cotton End

Welcome to Shocott Spring

Shocott Spring is 52 hectares of new community woodland, planted between 2005 and 2011 on former arable farmland between Shortstown and Cotton End (hence Shocott!). The site lies within a flat and open landscape, affording great views across the Marston Vale to the Greensand Ridge, and has the imposing Cardington airship sheds as its backdrop.

Over 90,000 trees and shrubs have been planted, many of these by local people. Main species include Oak, Ash, Birch and Hazel. Some areas also have Pine and Larch and are being managed to provide some timber in the future. The site was also sown with a native grass and wildflower mix, with Birds-foot trefoil, Oxeye daisy and Greater knapweed producing a show of colour through the summer, and a rich source of pollen and nectar for insects such as Marbled White and Skipper butterflies.

The site is accessible to pedestrians, cyclists and mobility vehicle users at all times, with over 3km of surfaced routes, and a network of mown grass trails and recreation areas. There is also a ‘distance trail’, installed to encourage exercise of all kinds, which has carved posts inspired by the artwork of local school children every 100m. Access from both villages is along the pavement beside the A600, and via a public footpath from the centre of Cotton End. Roadside parking is possible in both villages. Information boards, picnic tables, benches and other features are also available to help visitors make the most of their visit.

Shocott Spring’s new habitats provide a diverse environment in which wildlife is already thriving. Resident Skylark, Great Tit, Goldfinch and other smaller birds take advantage of the abundance of insects and fruits; whilst Kestrel and Barn Owls can often be seen hunting for small mammals such as Field Voles, which live in abundance within the rough grassland, which they share with Brown hare, and the occasional foraging Badger.

The Forest of Marston Vale Trust. Registered in England No 3462405, Registered Charity No 1069229. Marston Vale Services Ltd. trading as The Forest Centre Registered in England No 3538255.
Marston Vale Farms Ltd. Registered in England No 6537891. Registered Office for all: The Forest Centre, Station Road, Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, MK43 0PR
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