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
Already, even though we are just a few weeks into the New Year, it is surprising how the slowly lengthening days begin to fire Nature up in readiness for all that spring has to bring. And that increase in light (varying between 1 and 3 minutes each day) also triggers a response in me - a real desire and impatient anticipation in wanting to see everything unfurl into life again as another year begins and we hurtle towards spring
And for those who, like me, can't contain their excitement, but who know where, how and when to look, there are plenty of clues as to what is to come, even this early in the year.
Imagine it is early morning, say 6.30am and I'm getting ready for work. There's just a slight glimmer in the air, a hint in the sky; a lightening, especially if the morning is sunny. In the distance a singing bird catches my ear. Just a few wild, skirled notes a loud, fluty call but at the same time a strangely dream-like song as if the bird is singing behind closed doors which occasionally open to let the song come through clearly then closes and the song becomes muffled. The bird? Its a Mistle Thrush, the 'Stormcock', the 'Hollin Cock' (so named because it will often defend a holly tree and its berries by driving off other birds that may try to take the berries), the Welsh call it 'Brych y Coed' or 'King of the Copse' due to its pugnacious behaviour when defending its nest, even driving off and diving at foxes, cats, squirrels, even humans. The song of this thrush is one of the very early signs of spring coming. Singing into the teeth of a gale from the very top of the tallest tree - that's the mistle thrush for you.
And then, a classic, it is evening this time, early February and you can just begin to feel the evenings drawing out. A soft evening, pleasantly mild and there is just the merest hint of something slightly indefinable in the air - is it spring we can feel? But in the distance, heard as if in a dream, I catch the mellow richness of a blackbird singing, the first of the year, just tuning up. Just a few fluting phrases but there is no doubt about it - it is a blackbird. And that first song is a real cusp, a real turning point and it makes me tingle with excitement, with the thought of 'all that's about to come'.
This time it's midday and I'm walking across the fields out the back of the village when, suddenly, out of the brown fields studded with green shoots, a small clod of brown earth becomes a brown bird which rises with shivering wings and climbs rapidly into the blue and as it climbs, it sings. Pouring out a non-stop, breathtaking song of liquid beauty as it showers the ground below with silver - it may sing for 20 minutes or more and so we have the skylark, another of the spring-bringers.
Just three examples, of many - see if you can hear the spring-bringers yourselves!
And, even down on and under the earth the increasing day length will be having subtle effects on all manner of other wildlife. Newts and frogs will be stirring and heading to our ponds, deep in their warm setts female badgers will be giving birth to tiny cubs and, under the soil, bulbs will be pushing their green shoots up towards the light.
As I write this, just after Christmas, we are having blustery weather but we have had a remarkably mild winter to date. But, who know what the weather will be by the time you are reading this! As the old country saying goes - 'As the days get longer, the cold gets stronger'. . . You have been warned!
But, to back to the coming spring, the poet Henry Reed wrote a brilliant poem contrasting the stripping down and loading of a gun with the coming of spring. It is called 'The Naming of the Parts' (written in 1942) and here is a verse from it:
And this you can see is the bolt. The purpose of this
Is to open the breech, as you see. We can slide it
Rapidly backwards and forwards: we call this
Easing the spring. And rapidly backwards and forwards
The early bees are assaulting and fumbling the flowers:
They call it easing the Spring.