How many times have you driven past this woodland oasis? Perhaps you’ve rushed by on your way to the airport; or past on your way to Stockwood Park on the other side of the London Road.
Once part of a much larger area of woodland, Kidney Wood is a wonderful piece of woodland full of history. In the spring the woodland floor is a carpet of bluebells which indicate that there has been a wood on this site for over 400 years. The antiquity of the site is also demonstrated in the ancient wood bank on the edge of the wood and hazel coppice stools. Later in spring the trees are full of birds busily gathering food for nests full of chicks.
In summer, you might be lucky enough to spot butterflies fluttering through the glades and woodland rides in search of nectar from some of the pretty wildflowers or blossom on the trees.
Kidney Wood is full of activity in the autumn with the squirrels and jays stashing nuts for food throughout the winter and visitors scuffing through the fallen leaves. While children make dens from fallen branches, adults enjoy watching the leaves twist in the breeze as they fall to the ground.
The wood is owned by Luton Borough Council and a team of volunteers. Together, the Council and volunteer team has restored a circular path around Kidney Wood which takes visitors to all the different parts of this small but diverse wood. Along the path are carved wooden pillars which highlight the wildlife of the wood. Each pillar has a carved picture for rubbing, so remember to take some paper and crayons to collect all the pictures. More rubbings can be made at two benches placed at popular view points.
All these things make Kidney Wood a very special wood. So, next time you leave the M1 to head up the A1081 towards the airport or Luton town centre, why not stop for half an hour and take a stroll around the trail. Plenty of parking is available at Stockwood Park and it’s only a short walk back to the main gate into the wood.