2007 Schools Wikipedia Selection. Related subjects: Geography of Great Britain
|Elevation||243 m (797 ft)|
|Location||Chiltern Hills, England|
|Prominence||c. 105 m|
|Topo map||OS Landranger 166|
|OS grid reference||TL008194|
Dunstable Downs are part of the Chiltern Hills, in southern Bedfordshire in England. They are a chalk escarpment forming the north-eastern reaches of the Chilterns. At 243 m (797 ft), Dunstable Downs are the highest point of Bedfordshire.
Because of its elevation, Dunstable Downs hosted a station in the shutter telegraph chain which connected the Admiralty in London to its naval ships in the port of Great Yarmouth during the years 1808 to 1814.
Whipsnade Zoo has cut an enormous lion shape into the chalk into the side of one of the hills. The lion can be seen from the Aylesbury to Dunstable road.
The downs are used by gliders, kite fliers, hang gliders and paragliders in the area because of their height. The London Gliding Club is based at the foot of the downs.
Much of the downs are managed by the National Trust as part of the Dunstable Downs, Countryside Centre & Whipsnade Estate property, and the downs are also home to a wide variety of wildlife including many rare wild flowers, such as the Bee Orchid, and different butterfly species, like the Marbled White and the Chalkhill Blue.