Bedford’s award-winning Priory Country Park is set for major improvements to make the pathways accessible to more people and to encourage visitors to enjoy outdoor exercise.
In the first phase of the works, Bedford Borough Council will upgrade the deteriorating path around the lake area of Priory Country Park to an all-weather tarmac pathway, making the lakeside walk more accessible for people who use buggies and wheelchairs.
New signage around the Country Park will highlight the various walking routes and their distances.
The second phase of these improvements will see a flagship ‘outdoor gym’ installed where the labyrinth currently is.
Following severe vandalism over the past two years, the wooden structure has suffered irreparable deterioration.
Bedford Borough Council has identified Priory Country Park as the ideal first location for an outdoor gym, due to the high level of footfall and volume of physical exercise already taking place around the park.
Dave Hodgson, Mayor of Bedford Borough, said: “Over the past year, we’ve seen how important it is to invest in our parks and open spaces. Not only to encourage people to get out and exercise but for their mental wellbeing as well.
“That is why we’re making the walk around the lake at Priory Country Park more accessible and ensuring that it is usable all year round.
“We’ve also seen a sharp increase in the number of people using our outdoor gyms for exercise and we want to make sure they have access to a high-quality space that is free to use and available to everyone.”
The first phase of these works is scheduled to start on Monday (17 May) and are anticipated to take up to six weeks.
Although minor disruption is expected, this will be limited to ensure that visitors can still use the park while the works are ongoing. Phase two works will begin later this year.