Bedford Park is a large urban park, located in the town of Bedford, England. The park is situated just north of the River Great Ouse and has been listed as a Site of Special Scientific Interest due to its diversity and rarity. The park was constructed during the 19th Century as Bedford expanded northwards.
The Forest School provides natural play spaces for children aged 3-11 years old. These spaces include four climbing nets, two swings, three slides and a rope net run. It has been designed to provide an educational experience for youngsters which promotes active participation and interaction with nature.
Also within the park is a wildlife carousel, featuring some of Britain’s rarest animals. The carousel has been designed to give children an opportunity to closely study the various creatures while being entertained by their movements on the ride.
Bedford Park also provides facilities for sports such as rugby, football and cricket. Furthermore, there are two ponds located in Bedford Park – these have been made accessible for anglers.
In addition to this, North Bedfordshire Museum is situated just south of the River Great Ouse which runs through Bedford Park. Visitors can find out about the history of the area and see a wide range of exhibits from local industries and destinations that can be visited today.
The café has panoramic views across the river and offers a tasty range of food and drink. Picnics are also allowed in the park.
Bedford Park has won an entry in The Good Spa Guide, which showcases some of the finest hot springs all over the world. This spa offers a variety of treatments to help unwind and relax both mind and body.
In 2010 it was announced by Bedford Borough Council that a renovation programme costing £3 million would be carried out to improve the park. The council’s plan includes removing 3,000 trees that were planted in the 1950s as part of an experiment into growing hybrid poplars from cuttings taken from those at Whipsnade Zoo; replacing them with native trees and shrubs.
Additional works will include refurbishing paths and ponds, building a new wildlife area and providing a play park for children. In addition the council plans to reduce the amount of flood plain within the park to help prevent flooding on nearby roads during periods of heavy rainfall. Visual improvements for visitors include repairing vandalised stonework and creating new play areas. The redevelopment is due to be completed by spring 2015.