Shocott Spring - a place to unwind

Shocott Spring

Shocott Spring is 52 hectares (128 acres) of former arable farmland between the communities of Shortstown and Cotton End. It was purchased in 2005 by the Marston Vale Trust for creating new community woodland. Over the next 5-10 years it will be planted with trees and shrubs, to create a large new woodland for people and wildlife to enjoy.

How To Get There By Public Transport

BY BUS: Telephone Bedfordshire Bus Information Line : 01234 228337, 8.30am – 5pm open 5 days a week or Travel Line 0870 6082608.
BY TRAIN: For timetable information, please telephone National Rail Enquiries 08457 484950.
Click here for the National Rail Enquiries website

How To Get There By Car

Take the A600 south from Bedford. Shocott Spring is found on the right after passing through Shortstown and just before reaching Cotton End. There is limited off road parking at the site.

Access and General Information

Surface Types: You will walk across surface types ranging from hard but variable surfaces with loose, variable sized stones, to grass or uncultivated earth paths with and without mud and ruts.
Linear Gradient: All linear gradients are of 1.18 or less.
Cross Falls: There is a cross fall of between 1:10-1:15 and of 1:16-1:20.
Width Restriction: There are no restrictions less than 1000mm.
Steps: None recorded.
Barriers: There is one kissing gate at the entrance to the site.
Refreshments: There is a pub at Cotton End and a shop in Shortstown.
Public Toilets: None recorded.
Picnic Tables: There are two picnic tables at the site.
Seats: There are 8 seats located throughout the site.

Why Shocott Spring?

The name Shocott Spring comes from two sources; ‘Shocott’ was derived from combinations of Shortstown and Cotton End suggested by local people when we asked for their views, whilst ‘Spring’ is an old term used locally for an area of new woodland.

Creating The New Woodland

As the first phase of creating Shocott Spring, around 25 hectares were planted during the winter of 2005/6, with the help of local people and schoolchildren. Over 40,000 trees and shrubs have been planted here so far, such as oak, ash, field maple and hazel – most grown from seed collected from ancient woodlands in the area. A few areas have been planted with different mixtures of oak, pine, larch, ash and wild cherry. These will demonstrate how community woodlands can produce timber, as well as improving the landscape, providing valuable new wildlife habitats and being great spaces for people to enjoy.

The surrounding landscape has been shaped by farming and industry over many decades. Today, new developments around the urban fringe of Bedford are shaping the local landscape. By working with government, developers and local people we are using trees and woodlands to improve this landscape, making it more attractive for current and future generations. The countryside around Shocott Spring does not have a good network of public footpaths and bridleways. As a result, this new woodland is a very important natural space where local people can walk, cycle and enjoy being outdoors. Over time, we hope to improve access links between the local communities and the growing young woodland. Shocott Spring is one of many areas of community woodland that we are creating across the Marston Vale. They are all helping to improve the landscape, produce a sustainable supply of timber and provide valuable new wildlife habitats, as well as being great natural spaces for people to explore and enjoy.


Shocott Spring is owned by the Marston Vale Trust, the independent charity delivering the Forest of Marson Vale and was created with the help of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, The Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, Berkeley Homes, The Carbon Neutral Company, BTCV, Bedford Borough Council and the Forestry Commission. Our challenge is to use trees and woodlands to repair a landscape scarred by decades of clay extraction, brickmaking and landfill. We are working with local communities, government and businesses, to create new woods and other wild places for everyone to enjoy. For further information call the Forest Centre on 01234 767037.