River Great Ouse
The River, which runs through Bedford, must certainly be
described as the Jewel in the Crown. It supplied the power to grind
corn at Duckmill and Newnham. The river supplies power once
again in the 21st Century with the new Hydro Power Plant on the site of the former
Bedford Boat Slide close to the Bedford Schools' Boathouse.
It also provided invaluable trade links as barges could navigate
from The Wash on the North Seas, right the way through to Bedford’s
Town Centre. This enabled coal and other supplies to be transported
by water; coal wharfs would have lined the banks of the river in
the town centre. Oakley Bridge.
From Victorian times, the Embankment has been enjoyed as a place to
promenade and be seen, with its tree lined avenues and open
In the 1970’s the locks, which had fallen into disrepair, were
rebuilt and the river was once again open to the sea. These days
the river is invaded on a regular basis, but this time the invaders
are not the Danes but visitors who come to celebrate Bedford’s
River Festival. Held every two years, it is one of the largest free
outdoor events, second only to London’s Notting Hill Carnival. The
festival takes place in July on alternate years, the next one
is due in 2014.
Riverside Path Enhancement Project
As a vital link on the Green Wheel, Route 51 and a busy commuter
path, the river pathways are a well used route in and out of
the town centre and therefore we would like to improve users
experiences of the area.
Historically there have been Anti Social Behaviour (ASB) issues
in this area for some time. We would like to start mapping out the
location and nature of these issues to enable us to address these
before the summer months when they could escalate further.
We hope to work as a partnership with users, stakeholders, local
groups, and businesses. With the long term aim being to improve
users experience by reducing ASB, encouraging reporting of
incidents and enhancing the area for users by reintroducing
seating, installing interpretation boards etc and community
We are seeking people's views on this area, you can access the
survey online or you can pick one up at the Rivercare launch event
on Saturday 27th April. Alternatively you can call the Parks Team
on 01234 718350 and they can post you a survey.
Visit the Riverside Path
Project web page for more information, updates on the
project and details of future events.