The popular Priory Country Park has had its County Wildlife Site status extended to now cover the whole park, including the woods and the various meadows around the historic site.
Sites receive County Wildlife Site status in recognition of their contribution to the richness and biodiversity of the countryside and their importance for wildlife.
Priory Country Park’s lakes and the stretch of the river that runs through it have had the status for a number of years already.
But, long-term careful management of the park has meant the status has been extended to cover more of the area.
This work has included encouraging wildflowers to spread and flourish, creating a welcoming home for native wildlife.
Now visitors can see an abundance of wildflowers in the summer which help support biodiversity from insects to animals.
Mayor Dave Hodgson said: “As a Country Park, Priory has long led the way in allowing our natural environment to flourish, with careful management, creating a haven for wildlife within walking distance of Bedford town centre.
“In recent times especially, I know we have all come to value our local parks even more as places to get some exercise, and enjoy the fresh air and get into nature.”