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June 2010. Attribution: Tim Felce

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Bedfordshire (; abbreviated Beds) is a ceremonial, non-metropolitan, and historic county in the East of England. It is bordered by Northamptonshire to the north, Cambridgeshire to the north-east and east, Hertfordshire to the south and south-east, and Buckinghamshire to the west. Since Bedfordshire County Council was abolished in 2009, the county has been administered by the three unitary authorities of the Borough of Bedford, Borough of Luton, and Central Bedfordshire. It is the fourteenth most densely populated county of England, with over half the population of the county living in the two largest built-up areas: Luton (258,018) and Bedford (106,940). Its highest elevation point is 243 metres (797 ft) on Dunstable Downs in the Chilterns.

Biodiversity[edit | edit source]

The Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire (WTBCN) is a registered charity which manages 126 nature reserves covering 3,945 hectares (15.23 square miles). It has over 35,000 members, and 95% of people in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire live within five miles of a reserve. In the year to 31 March 2016 it employed 105 people and had an income of £5.1 million. It aims to conserve wildlife, inspire people to take action for wildlife, offer advice and share knowledge. The WTBCN is one of 36 wildlife trusts covering England, and 46 covering the whole of the United Kingdom.

Trees, woodland and forest[edit | edit source]

The Forest of Marston Vale is an evolving community forest in Marston Vale, which runs south west from the towns of Bedford and Kempston in Bedfordshire, England towards the M1 motorway. It is operated by a registered charity called the Forest of Marston Vale Trust.

The vale is traditionally a brickmaking area, but brickmaking industry has been running down since the 1970s. It has left a large amount of spoiled countryside containing several large empty pits some of which have now been converted into lakes. The Forest of Marston Vale is one of twelve of community forest projects in the United Kingdom. It was initiated by the Countryside Agency and the Forestry Commission, in partnership with Bedfordshire County Council, Mid Bedfordshire District Council, and Bedford Borough Council. The total area covered is 61 square miles (158 km2), but most of this land is in private ownership. There are incentives for landowners to plant trees, and the target for community forests in general is to reach 30% tree cover.

The principal public open space in the Forest is Marston Vale is the Millennium Country Park which covers 2.5 km2 (1 mile2) and was opened in 2000. The park features several lakes including the large Stewartby Lake and extensive wetlands. There is a visitor centre called the Forest Centre, which has a Lakeside Cafe, shop, toilets and bike rental. According to the official website the park attracts around a quarter of a million visitors a year. There are plans to create a larger park of over 3 square miles (7.8 km2) to the east of Bedford, which will be called Bedford River Valley Park.

On 26 January 2018, the UK Environmental Agency granted a permit to Covanta Energy Limited to operate what will be the UK's largest waste incinerator, next to the Forest. The effect of this development remains to be seen.

Cycling activism[edit | edit source]

The Cycling Campaign for North Bedfordshire - Cycle Bedford - CTC Bedfordshire - BRCC, Bedfordshire Road Cycling Club - iCycle - wikipedia:Cycling Campaign for North Bedfordshire promotes and encourages the use of the Bedford Green Wheel

Food activism[edit | edit source]

Incredible Edible Dunstable on facebook

Sustainable transport activism[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia: Bedford Green Wheel: a project to build on the existing network of traffic free paths and quiet routes for cyclists and walkers. This network will run around Bedford, England, and includes 'spokes' linking into the town centre. The network will link parks, nature reserves, countryside and homes. This project is part of Bedford Borough Council's Green Infrastructure Plan 2009.

Waterways: The River Great Ouse links Bedfordshire to the Fenland waterways. As of 2004 there are plans by the Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Trust to construct a canal linking the Great Ouse at Bedford to the Grand Union Canal at Milton Keynes, 14 miles (23 km) distant.[1]

News and comment[edit | edit source]


Bedfordshire joins Glasgow in fossil fuel commitment, January 20[2]


The way ahead for funding parks and green spaces?[3] December 4

Resources[edit | edit source]

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External links[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia: Bedfordshire

References[edit | edit source]

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