Protected Environmentally Sensitive Spaces
The Forest of Marston Vale
Creating the Forest of Marston Vale is about using trees and woodlands to repair a damaged landscape. The Forest is one of 12 Community Forests across England, designated in the 1990’s to regenerate land around towns and cities, scarred by industrialisation, in this case to address the effects of the brick making industry, which had flourished for over a hundred years.
The creation of the Forest brings unprecedented opportunities for the positive transformation of the industrially-scarred landscape of the Marston Vale, some 61 square miles between Bedford and Milton Keynes. Whilst the headline target is to achieve 30% tree cover by 2031, the real story is about what this ‘green’ transformation is designed to achieve – regeneration – providing social, economic and environmental benefits both now and for generations to come. At the Forest’s heart is the Forest Centre which offers a superb café, shop, cycle hire and ample free parking, all set in the beautiful Millennium Country Park at Marston Moretaine.
The 50kWp solar project at Marston Vale has already been completed and looks forward to more renewable energy to the Marston Vale Country Park.
Arlesey Old Moat and Glebe Meadows
One mile east of Henlow. Henlow Bedfordshire.
A managed in partnership with Arlesey Town Council and Arlesey Conservation for Nature, and are rich in wild flowers, including black knapweed, cuckoo flower and the insect-mimicking bee orchid.
Two miles south of St Neots, St Neots, Bedfordshire
Large-scale drainage over recent years has made riverside marshes such as this rare. This is all that remains of a once large marsh fed by the River Ouse. Gravel extraction in the 1960s resulted in a small lake and a series of pools in the area of marsh which survives today. Willow trees fringe the water’s edge, creating an air of peace and calm for visitors when walking around this diverse nature reserve.
Putnoe Wood Nature Reserve
Off Wentworth Drive, Bedford MK41 8QA
Ancient woodland site. Hazel coppice dominates the northern half of the wood. Typical spring flora including areas of bluebells.
Local Environmental Businesses and Projects
Bedfordshire Wildlife Rescue
The charity for orphaned birds was set up by Sam Bedford, who has been involved in
animal welfare for many years and runs the charity with a small team of volunteers from her home in Houghton Regis. The charity has grown steadily since 2004 and has become well known as specialists in the rearing of wild birds as well as rescuing them and restoring them to health wherever possible.
In 2014 the Charity celebrated its 10th Anniversary and took in just over 700 patients, 391 of whom were orphaned wild birds. The charity’s 2014 release rate was 79.9%!
Bedfordshire Wildlife Trust
Manages and looks after 126 nature reserves for wildlife, including ancient woodlands, wildflower meadows, and wetlands. More than 95% of people living in the three counties are less than five miles from a Wildlife Trust nature reserve.
The Lodge RSPB reserve
Named after the building which houses its headquarters RSPB, The Lodge, is a nature reserve run by the RSPB. It is located to the south-east of the town of Sandy in Bedfordshire. It is the country’s largest nature conservation charities, and is an inspiration to all to give nature a home.
Together with their partners, the RSPB protect threatened wildlife so our towns, coastlines and rural countryside areas can teem with life once again. The RSPB also play a leading role in a worldwide partnership of nature conservation organisations, BirdLife International.
The Heath, Potton, Sandy SG19 2DL
St Albans Woodland Burial Trust
Woodland Burial – the natural choice in beautiful countryside at
Keysoe, Bedfordshire. Surrounded by 60 acres of trees, this is an ideal setting for those
who would like to choose burial in a manner which benefits the environment. This is not a
commercial cemetery; the woodland is owned by a Charitable Trust and is dedicated to
providing the opportunity for burial in a way which does not pollute, but creates a nature
reserve, a haven of natural beauty and wildlife.
St. Marks Church Community Centre, Calder Rise, Bedford. MK41 7UY
CPRE Campaign to Protect Rural England
CPRE Bedfordshire (founded in 1987) seeks to protect and enhance the Bedfordshire countryside and its rural communities. They are a voice for everyone who wants to protect our rural areas and are a leading contributor to planning, countryside and environmental debates. They welcome support from anyone interested in the countryside
5 Grove Place Bedford MK40 3JJ
Marston Vale Wind Turbine Energy Project
To put it simply, the power in the wind turns two or three propeller-like blades around a rotor. The rotor is connected to the main shaft, which in turn spins a generator to create electricity.
• MARSTON VALE WIND TURBINE FACTS
• At the hub height of 85m the annual average wind speed has been estimated to be 7 m/s (meters per second) almost 16mph!
• You won’t feel that at ground level as hub height winds speeds are higher than at ground level of course.
• The wind speed varies constantly every day, and the range of speeds varies through the seasons too.
• The turbine can capture energy from 2m/s to 35m/s (5mph to 80mph), but when there is no wind will continue to measure speed and direction until it can start up again. It always moves around to face into the wind. Above 80mph it pitches the blades out of the wind as the forces on the machine would be too strong.
• The turbine is a 1.5MW capacity installation.