Ferdinand Michael Kroyer-Kielberg KBE purchased the estate in 1928 and proceeded to have a new house built on the site of a previous property. The Stockgrove mansion and estate houses were built in a mock Georgian style and the house was one of the largest country houses built between the two World Wars.
The Country Park now covers 400 acres and consists of a variety of wildlife habitats including a lake, marshes, ancient oak woodland, conifer plantations and meadows. The lake, noted for its colourful Mandarin Ducks, was once the boating lake for the estate. Beside the lake there is a seat bearing the coat of arms of the Kroyer-Keilberg family.
On the meadow areas you may see green woodpeckers feeding on ants among the wildflowers and grasses.
Rushmere Country Park is between Leighton Buzzard and Milton Keynes, northwest of Heath and Reach on the Great Brick Hill road and is signposted from the A5.
Parking is available at the Park throughout the year.
Please park considerately. Remember to take all valuables with you and ensure that your car is securely locked.
The Starting Point - the walk is described in a clockwise direction from the car park near Houghton House. However, you can begin at any other point and walk in either direction.
Distance: 4 miles (6.4 km)
Time: 1.5 hours
Surface Types: You will walk across surface types ranging from hard and firm with no stones larger than 10mm, to hard but variable surface with loose, variable sized stones, to grass or uncultivated earth paths with and without ruts and mud.
Linear Gradient: The steepest linear gradient is steeper than 1:6 between sections 2 and 3 on the map and on the short cut section. There are also gradients of between 1:6-1:9, 1:10-1:13 and 1:14-1:17.
Cross Falls: The steepest are 1:9 or steeper throughout the walk, and between 1:10-1:15, 1:16-1:20 and 1:21-1:25 on the route.
Width Restriction: There is a width restriction of 940mm on the sleeper bridge in Rushmere Park at the bottom of the valley in section 2 on the map.
Steps: None recorded.
Barriers: There are 4 kissing gates with a restriction of less than 1000mm, 4 kissing gates with a restriction of between 1000-1500mm and one 2-step stile.
Refreshments: There is a café at Rushmere Park Visitor Centre.
Public Toilets: These are located at the Visitor Centre.
Picnic Tables: There are picnic tables outside the café at the Visitor Centre and by the main car park at the start of the walk .
Seats: There are seats at Heath and Reach Recreation Ground, one at the Charcoal Pond and one above the main car park.
Tips for enjoying your walk.Parts of the walk can become muddy especially after heavy rain, so strong waterproof footwear is recommended. Take care where conditions are rough and do let someone know where you are going. Please be aware that much of the walk is unsuitable for wheelchairs and difficult for pushchairs.
This leaflet was produced Central Bedfordshire Council. Click here for the Council's Countryside page.