Parks and open spaces overview

We boast many beautiful and award winning parks and open spaces in Bedford Borough.Bedford Embankment with bridge and flowers

Amongst the most popular is the riverside promenade running through the town centre, made up of the Embankment Gardens, Russell Park and Mill Meadows. While Bedford Park is a Victorian gem situated at the end of the imposing De Parys Avenue.  

In addition to our urban parks, we have some amazing country parks and areas of woodlands, meadows, wetlands, grasslands and heritage sites providing fantastic locations for walking, learning and discovery in the great outdoors.

Throughout the year our teams maintain the trees, grass, and flowers in our green spaces to a high standard and create stunning floral displays.

There is something for everyone at our parks and green spaces, from outdoor sports to great food - and many seasonal events throughout the year to enjoy.

In recognition of our continued standard of management, four of Bedford’s parks have been awarded Green Flags. More details about these parks can be found below:

Our wonderful volunteer groups have also been awarded Green Flag Community Awards for Hill Rise Local Nature Reserve, Mowsbury Hillfort and Putnoe Wood. More details about these sites, and our other nature reserves can be found here.

If you see any damage to any park facility, then please let us know on the below form:

Report damaged Council park facilities

Play areas

We inspect and maintain over 120 play areas with facilities for toddlers, juniors and teens. Some include multi-use sports facilities, skate parks and outdoor gyms which are free to use.

If you notice a problem in a Council park play area, then please let us know.

Report a play area problem

Book a sports pitch 

Many of our parks offer a range of bookable sports facilities including, football, tennis, cricket, rugby, rounder’s and bowls. For more information and to book a court or pitch visit the outdoor sports page.

We also have fishing permits available at our country park sites.

Book an event in a park

To apply to hold an event in one of our parks or open spaces, please visit our park events page.

Volunteering in parks

If you would like to get involved as a volunteer in your local park or open space, visit our Get involved pages to see what happening and to register.

Sponsor a new tree in a park

We have recently launched a new scheme that lets residents and local businesses sponsor a new tree in one of our parks (you choose which one). We call these trees Celebration Trees.

You may want to sponsor a tree as a gift, to celebrate the life of a loved one lost, to mark a new birth or a special anniversary. You may just want to have a new tree planted because it’s just a lovely thing to do.

For details of our scheme please visit Trees for Streets .

Healthy Parks

Being active in the fresh air is good for your health. Our parks provide a whole range of activities for keeping fit and enjoying the outdoors.

Let’s Go Bedfordshire provides information on places to walk, picnic and enjoy.

Ramblers Wellbeing Walks (previously Walling for Health) gives more information on how walking can improve your health.

Join a guided walk and learn about the history of Bedford while keeping active.

Approved fitness and sessional activity instructors provides information on fitness instructors, businesses and sessional activities approved to operate on Council parkland.

Bedford Green Wheel

Bedford Green Wheel is a roughly circular route around Bedford, primarily designed for walking and cycling and to provide access to green spaces and recreational areas.

It's a great way of visiting our existing parks and green spaces, whilst getting fit and having fun. The Green Wheel is mostly off-road with some sections on quiet roads.

Bedford Cycle Network, including Bedford Green Wheel, is available on the Bedford and Kempston walking and cycling map. 

Drones, radio controlled vehicles and model aircraft

The use of all unauthorised drones, radio controlled vehicles or model aircraft within our parks and green spaces is prohibited. Please read our Drones and Model Aircraft Policy (PDF) for more information.