Records show that there has been woodland on this site for over 300 years with the present deciduous trees being planted by the 6th Baronet, Sir George Osbourn.
After the dissolution of the monasteries in 1538, the Priory and land at Chicksands was leased and later signed over to the Osbourn family who continued as owners of the estate until it was sold to the Crown in 1936.
The value of the woodland was recognised and in 1963 Biggleswade District Council placed a Tree Preservation Order on the entire wood Bedfordshire County Council bought the wood in 1966 which ensured that the space would be protected for future generations to enjoy.
The preservation of this valuable l5.4 hectare woodland continues under the authority of Central Bedfordshire Council, by providing a secure habitat for a variety of wildlife as well as offering local residents a special place to walk or relax.
In 2010, wood sculptors Peter Leadbeater and Dick Tilley were commissioned to create a series of
carvings and benches along the circular route within the plantation Thus included two totem pole
sculptures created from standing oak trunks, following the removal of dead timber from the trees.
After talking to many members of the local community, the artists came up with a series of
designs that celebrate the history and heritage of the area along with the wildlife of Campton
Plantation The sculptures include totem poles representing the communities of Shefford, Campton & Chicksands. Take a closer look at the poles to see a number of recognisable features including the
River Flit, the Shefford crest and Campton Lower School as well as references to the area's
There are other artworks and benches to be found in the wood, why not follow the way markers
around the sate to see how many you can spot?
There are some fine trees in the wood including Pedunculate Oak, Ash, Beech. Held Maple
and Alder. Sadly some of the Oaks are showing dark staining on their trunks, often the first sign of a serious disease known as Sudden Oak Death. Any that do die will be made safe and left as habitat for woodland insects.
Alder, a damp-loving species, dominates the Lower Alders area of the wood. As it is rot-resistant
in water it was often used for boats, lock gates, bridge piling and cabinet making.
You may not spot many of the resident mammals but if you are lucky you could SEE the unusual
Black Squirrel, a melanistic (increased dark pigmentation) version of the grey squirrel which is
only found in the surrounding counties.
There are many birds in the wood, from Blackbird, Song Thrush, Robin, Wren, Blue and Great Tits
and all three types of woodpecker to summer migrants such as the Chiffchaff.