Bugs and Bees Project

cartoon bee, ladybird and caterpillar with the wording helping bugs and bees

Bedford Borough 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.

We have been working with various partners, including the community, and have reviewed a number of open space locations and implemented more wildlife-friendly maintenance regimes across Bedford Borough. 

The following information details the methods and locations where we are changing maintenance to benefit our bugs and bees. 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 the 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 Borough'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)
  • Longholme Way (near Cardington Road)
  • Longholme Lake
  • Wilkinson Road (on open space near Maypole Farm/Brewers Fayre)
  • Mowsbury Park (along the edge of the woodland)
  • Grudgens Meadow
  • Open Space near Bedford Sea Cadets Hut
  • Bedford Park (along the northern boundary of the park
  • Duchess Road public open space (underneath the existing trees)
  • Longholme Way (extension of existing area)
  • Putnoe Park
  • Thor Drive public open space
  • Roff Avenue and Clapham Road Roundabout

New for 2024

  • Addison Howard Park (beneath mature trees along the main drive)
  • Allen Park
  • Elstow Road and Southfields Road junction
  • Hillgrounds Road Sports Ground
  • Jubilee Park (at the end of Oak Road and Hazelwood Road)
  • Mowbray Road (by Berkeley Road)

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 are sown at the same time. This provides 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 is sown:

  • 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)
  • Bedford Park (near the tennis court area)
  • Mowsbury Park (along Wentworth Drive)
  • Russell Park (Time Garden) *
  • St Mary’s Gardens (area planted with bulbs and wildflowers) **
  • Cardington Road (near the Rope Walk roundabout)*
  • Deep Spinney and Bromham Road Verge*
  • St James Way and The Great Ouse Way Roundabout*
  • Margetts Road open space*
  • Renhold Interchange Roundabouts*
  • Putnoe Park
  • Aylesbury Road open space*
  • Clapham Road and Paula Radcliffe Way Roundabout (area planted with bulbs and wildflowers

New for 2024

  • Woodcote open space
  • Chiltern Avenue open space<
  • Newnham Avenue open space (beside the allotment entrance)

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.

Locations where this mix is sown:

  • Abbey Fields Public open space (eastern section)*
  • Kempston Hardwick Roundabout ***
  • Stewartby Village Green (south eastern section) ***
  • Midland Road, town centre beds (planted with native enriched wildflower turf) **

* Funded through the Council’s Ward Members Fund.

** Funded through the European Regional Development Fund’s Welcome Back Fund.

*** Funded through the Council’s Ward Members Fund and Stewartby and Kempston Hardwick Parish Council.

These areas and maintenance regimes will be regularly reviewed to see how they are progressing with additional areas being added throughout the year– so keep an eye on this webpage!

Email bugsandbees@bedford.gov.uk for more information or to suggest a potential new location for consideration.