Welcome to Bedford Borough Council

 
Our Services A - Z :
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 
 

You are here: Home Page > Leisure and Culture > Parks and Open Spaces > River Great Ouse

River Great Ouse

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.

From Victorian times, the Embankment has been enjoyed as a place to promenade and be seen, with its tree lined avenues and open spaces.

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 2016.

 

Bedford River Valley Park

The River Valley Park (BRVP) is continuing to take shape as areas of gravel extraction are completed and restored. Added interest and value is provided by recent project work such as the water controls at Fenlake Meadows and the Lottery funded information boards and talking points about the history of the area that can be found across the BRVP.

To help with the future development of the BRVP the Council has worked with the Marston Vale Trust and a wide range of people and organisations that have an interest in the Park to produce a masterplan that pays special attention to the Council’s land holdings. 

The masterplan outlines a number of potential recreation, conservation and access projects that would add value and interest to the BRVP.  All projects are subject to the availability of funding and agreement of relevant stakeholders.

 

The masterplan can be downloaded below.

brvp masterplan

 

Don't Miss

Kite Festival

Bedford Borough is a vibrant area to live in with an abundance of leisure opportunities for residents and visitors. We pride ourselves on offering a fantastic programme of cultural events throughout the year, and providing a wide range of affordable health opportunities, through our quality parks, award winning leisure centres and sports development work.

 


Stay Connected
Sign up for email alerts!