The Council is committed to supporting food and shelter for animals, bees and other insects through the Bugs and Bees project to further enhance Bedford’s Parks and Open Spaces, and provide more sustainable natural environments.
Following a press release launching the project in June 2020, we received a huge response from borough residents suggesting locations where people would like to see more wildlife-friendly maintenance regimes implemented. All of these suggestions were reviewed, and the following changes to our maintenance regimes are detailed below.
All of these areas are only mown once per year, which is in line with the management of meadow areas.
In recognition of the work to help pollinators through the Bugs and Bees Project, the Council was announced as a winner of a 2021 Bees’ Needs Champions Award.
Reduced grass cutting
Creating wildflower meadows in this way allows local native species to bloom, which provides the best pollen and nectar sources for Bedford’s pollinators. The locations where this change in maintenance has been implemented are:
- Jubilee Park (beneath trees in the middle of the park)
- Brickhill Drive Open Space (besides the entrance to Brickhill Allotments)
- Kempston Riverside Path (at the end of Mill Lane only)
- Longholme Way (near Cardington Road)
New for 2022
- Longholme Lake
- Wilkinson Road (on open space near Maypole Farm/Brewers Fayre)
- Mowsbury Park (along the edge of the woodland)
- Jubilee Park (extension of existing area)
- Grudgens Meadow
- Open Space near Bedford Sea Cadets Hut
Native wildflower perennial meadows
The native wildflower perennial mix used for these areas consists of native species that support our local pollinators. This mix will take at least two years to fully establish due to it being a perennial mix and may appear unsightly in the first year of establishment; however it will continue to develop into an important source of nectar and pollen.
To help with the appearance of the native perennial mix in its first year, a nursery crop of annuals will be sown at the same time. This will provide an initial burst of colourful flowers for the first year only, by which time the perennial mix will start to flower.
Locations where this mix will be sown are:
- Woodlands Country Park
- Great Denham (in the fenced area at the end of Greenkeeper’s Road)
- Addison Howard Park (around the pond area to the north of the park)
New for 2022
- Bedford Park (near the tennis court area)
- Cardington Road (near the Rope Walk roundabout)
- Mowsbury Park (along Wentworth Drive)
- Russell Park (Time Garden) *
- St Mary’s Gardens (area planted with bulbs and wildflowers) **
* Russell Park has been funded by the Council’s Ward Members Fund.
** St Mary’s Garden has been funded through the European Regional Development Fund’s Welcome Back Fund.
Floral wildflower perennial meadows
Floral wildflower meadows tend to have less native plant species within the mixes, but do provide colourful displays of flowers. As with the native perennial mix above, the initial year after sowing will look disappointing as all perennial mixes take at least two years to fully establish, but these will mature over time to produce a carpet of floral colour.
The locations where this mix will be sown are below:
- Abbey Fields Public Open Space (eastern section)
- Kempston Hardwick Roundabout
- Stewartby Village Green (south eastern section)
New for 2022
- Midland Road, town centre beds (planted with native enriched wildflower turf) **
** Midland Road has been funded through the European Regional Development Fund’s Welcome Back Fund.
These areas and maintenance regimes will be regularly reviewed to see how they are progressing and if successful, additional areas will be added – so keep an eye on this webpage!
If you would like further information about this project then please email firstname.lastname@example.org.