Popular Bedford park marks 30th anniversary

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Priory Country Park in Bedford celebrated its 30th anniversary this week.

Priory Country Park was officially opened on September 27, 1986 by radio and television presenter Valerie Singleton as a place for local residents and visitors to enjoy.

The park was laid out following the completion of gravel extraction in 1977 and extended north after the demolition of the Goldington power station in 1987. Since it opened the park has grown and developed into a popular place for local residents and visitors from outside Bedford.

Just one and a half miles from the heart of Bedford, covering 360 acres, Priory Country Park offers something for all visitors, while its wildlife thrives in protected lakes, grass and woodlands.

The park hosts a number of sporting activities including walking, running, cycling, canoeing, sailing and windsurfing as well as angling and bird watching in a number of quiet and accessible spots.

Last month the park’s visitor centre took on a new lease of life with the opening of a brand new café.

The Cloverdale Retreat Cafe is open to the public seven days a week from 10am to 4pm.

Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson said: “Priory Country Park is enjoyed by many thousands of people of all ages every year.
“Its popularity is a testament to the hard work and dedication of all the staff and volunteers over the last thirty years.

“Bedford Borough Council is proud to own and manage the Park as a wonderful asset for all of the area’s residents and visitors.”

Priory’s high standards of care are reflected by the continued success in achieving Green Flag status, which it has been awarded every year since 2003.

In addition, for the past three years, Priory Country Park has been awarded the Travel Advisor Certificate of Excellence due to its consistently high reviews.