The main services we provide:
Providing advice to land managers and parish councils throughout Central Bedfordshire Council
Providing advice in regard to agri-environment schemes and woodland schemes within Central Bedfordshire Council
Liaising and co-coordinating with a range of environmental and other specialists interests bodies
Talks, walks and other events
Advice to Central Bedfordshire Council on the environmental management of its property to its planning and other services
A number of policy documents relating to public rights of way and the countryside have been developed and these are shown below.
Applications policy (PDF 3.9MB)
Relating to Public Path Orders, Definitive Map Modification Orders and Town and Country Planning Act Orders
Enforcement policy (PDF 1.7MB)
Obstructions (temporary and permanent), farming issues (ploughing and cropping) and minerals deposited on the highway
Ploughing and cropping policy (PDF 1.8MB)
Legislation and procedure for paths subject to farming operations
Least restrictive access policy (PDF 5.2MB)
Structures on the public path network that enable access to all
Tree and woodland policy (PDF 472KB)
Management of trees and woodland within Countryside Access Team's sites and public Rights of Way
Policies under development
Working practice and guidance
In addition to the above policies a number of documents providing working practice and guidance to council officers on rights of way matters have also been developed.
Wind Turbines near Public Rights of Way - working practice guidance note
(PDF 561KB)Wind Turbines near Public Rights of Way - technical appendix (PDF 911KB)
If you are a film company looking for locations why not explore the opportunities available with Central Bedfordshire Council.
Located not far from London, with easy access via the M1 and A1, Central Bedfordshire boasts both picturesque countryside and distinctive locations. Central Bedfordshire Council is a film friendly Council and welcomes enquiries from the producers of non-news film, television and stills photography wishing to locate their project at a countryside site.
Central Bedfordshire Council owns a range of sites that can fulfil most landscape needs including lakes, meadow, heathland, woodland and country parks. To film in one of our country parks or countryside sites you will need to contact us for a licence. For more information, to discuss your filming requirements and to get a copy of our filming guidelines call The Fundraising Officer on 0300 300 6821.
Please contact the Forestry Commission for more information and to report concerns about the Ash Dieback disease.
In England and Wales
Chalara helpline: 08459 33 55 77 (open 8am - 6pm every day)
Or visit the Forestry Commission website for more information http://www.forestry.gov.uk/chalara
Wild about Bedfordshire
With the advent of spring (I saw the first swallow in the village today, 9th April) our countryside and gardens are buzzing with life. And with the emergence of so much life and activity some of the most obvious of all are the Hymenoptera; the ants, bees and wasps etc. The bees are particularly noticeable in early spring – especially the large, furry, queen bumblebees which emerge early from hibernation and are often seen as they fly around gardens and enter houses on their search for a suitable dark hole in which to make a nest and start a breeding colony. Meanwhile, many of the other species of bees; the solitary bees, the leafcutter bees, and our social, honeybees are slightly less conspicuous but they all have one thing in common – many of them are declining in numbers, distribution and are under threat from a variety of sources.
And therein lies the problem, because these small, industrious creatures perform a hugely important role in the running of this planet and without them much of life would simply cease to exist or become very difficult to maintain.
Social bees such as honeybees and bumblebees are part of a huge army of insects which act as pollinators of most of our fruit and vegetables and honeybees account of 80% of all insect pollination. So, no bees mean fewer apples, pears, strawberries and tomatoes, for instance. The decline in the population of bees will have serious consequences on our future food supplies…Also, of course bees provide us (and themselves) with other services such as honey (which is collected from flowering trees and-plants as nectar) and is turned into honey which the bees then use as a food supply – nectar is one of the richest and purest natural foods that exists and honeybees collect an average of 66lbs of pollen per year, per hive.
In addition, bees are struggling due to a range of external problems, many of which are caused by us…Urbanisation and extensive building in the countryside is wiping out many flower-rich meadows and replacing them with sterile, closely-mown dull grass and tarmac; various diseases are affecting populations and one of the greatest threats is the use of harmful chemicals and sprays (both in gardens and on farmland) which are wiping out useful flowering plants or directly affecting the bees themselves. Another threat is the Varroa mite which is a parasitic mite which can devastate honeybee colonies and can be found in almost every apiary in Europe – it is probably the major challenge facing bees and bee keeping today.
With all these problems facing bees it’s no wonder they are facing some big challenges so, what can we do to help them?
There is, in fact, quite a lot we can do to help our honeybees, bumblebees, solitary bees and other pollinating insects (and, of course, ourselves and our children). Here are some ideas listed below:
- One of the easiest and obvious ways is to plant our gardens with lots of bee-friendly (preferably native, flowers and trees). Species such as; Pussy willow, all flowering fruit trees, Hawthorn, Buddleia, Rosemary, Lavender, Philadelphias, Potentillas, Clematis, Cranesbills, Mallows, Sedums, Poppies, Salvias, Cosmos, Violets, Mallows, Alliums, Cherries, Cherry plum, Blackthorn, Horse chestnut, Hazel, Geraniums, Scabious, Foxglove, Quince, Lime, Choisya, Flowering currant, Dog rose, Viburnum, Ceanothus, Cistus, Fuchsia, Hebe, Honeysuckle, Snowberries, Gorse, Ivy and Mahonia. There are many, many more species that can be planted.
- It is important to remember that many of the fancy ‘double-bloomed’ flowers available in garden centres produce little or no pollen or make it too difficult for the bees to get to the stamens – so these are next to worthless to bees. Always try to use simple, single-flowered plants such as native wildflowers or traditional ‘cottage garden’ flowers.
- Try to avoid using, whenever possible, chemical sprays and treatments in the garden; they’re not good for the environment in general and some are highly toxic to bees. Anything listed as ‘harmful’, ‘dangerous’, ‘toxic’ or ‘high risk to bees’ should really not be being used.
After all, remembering that every one in three mouthfuls of food that we eat is dependent on pollination is a sobering thought…
Check out the British Beekeepers Association website for more information – www.bbka.org.uk
And to take part in the ‘BeeWalk’ survey to help record bumblebee numbers go to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust website – www.bumblebeeconservation.org
A good book to help you identify bumblebees is: ‘Field Guide to the Bumblebees of Great Britain and Ireland’ by Mike Edwards and Martin Jenner, published by Ocelli Limited.