Last Friday was the first day of Keep Britain Tidy's Love Parks Week.
The week is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the fantastic parks and open spaces in Bedford Borough, as well as thanking those who work and volunteer in them.
Over the last year, the Council's Parks & Open Spaces Team had 652 individual volunteers registered, who between them logged a massive 12,746 volunteering hours across 2,935 different organised events. A huge thank you to those that volunteered their time to make our parks what they are.
Last week, following yet another fabulous River Festival Weekend, the Council announced that four Green Flag Award winning parks have yet again retained their prestigious Green Flag for 2022/23. This includes Addison Howard Park, Bedford Park, Harrold-Odell Country Park and Priory Country Park.
Similarly, earlier this year Bedford Borough Council was announced as a winner of the 2021 Bees' Needs Champions Award for the work they are doing to help pollinators through their Bugs and Bees Project. The project focuses on supporting food and shelter for animals, bees and other insects by reducing grass cutting and creating both native and floral wildflower meadows.
If you're planning a family day out over the summer holidays, the Council are very near completing major playground refurbishments in three of their fantastic parks, Bedford Park, Jubilee Park and Russell Park.
If fitness is your thing, the Council have recently completed a new outdoor gym featuring seven pieces of equipment and a calisthenics centre at Priory Country Park, and significantly extended the existing gym at Pilgrims Park in Kempston. Both of these, along with the existing outdoor gyms and other sports facilities in the borough are a great opportunity to get active.
From being close to nature at our country parks and nature reserves, to a tranquil stroll along our beautiful Embankment, to an invigorating jog or walk around your local park or an indulgent lunch and catch up with friends at one of our park cafes; our parks provide something for everyone.
Dave Hodgson, Elected Mayor of Bedford Borough, said, "Love Parks Week is a fantastic time of year to get out and reconnect with nature and the picturesque open spaces we have here in Bedford Borough. In the last year we've invested in a number of projects to improve our parks and open spaces, and these improvements are still ongoing, in recognition of how valuable our parks are to the people of Bedford Borough. Over the next week, why not take a stroll and rediscover the Borough's parks and open spaces, and help us celebrate Love Parks Week?"
If you would like to volunteer in Bedford Borough Council's parks and open spaces, you can find out more at www.bedford.gov.uk/leisure-and-culture/parks-and-open-spaces/community-volunteering/.
To find out more about the Bugs and Bees Project, visit www.bedford.gov.uk/leisure-and-culture/parks-and-open-spaces/maintaining-our-green-spaces/bugs-and-bees-project/.