Russell Park mini golf course ‘putts’ local history in the spotlight

Russell Park mini golf course is due for an upgarde. Image: Bedford Borough Council

Bedford Borough Council has announced work to enhance the mini golf course in Russell Park, meaning it will be more accessible to families throughout the year.

In association with the owners of the Kiosk and renowned mini-golf course designers, Urban Crazy, the project is expected to be completed in time for the Easter school holidays in April.

The existing putting green will become a brand new 12-hole course that will combine golfing dexterity with local history, with each hole celebrating historical and iconic landmarks around Bedford.

The putting green grass will be replaced with “very robust, fire-retardant felt”, said a spokesperson for Bedford Borough Council, which is exclusively made by Urban Crazy for mini golf courses.

“This helps with our vision to make the course completely accessible for all users and increase usage all year round.”

Thomas Healey, co-owner of The Kiosk Russell Park, said: “We’re excited to see the project coming together, after a while in the planning.

“The current basic grass course gets good use in the summer but requires heavy grounds maintenance. In recent years, with summers getting warmer, the grass becomes scorched and the play experience is compromised. 

“The new 12-hole experience will be more compact, designed for an engaging round, and available all year.

“The redevelopment will bring the costs of associated upkeep down and draw lots of new users too. We plan to offer a discounted family voucher to incorporate a round of mini golf and a ride on the Longholme dragon boats, both unique local activities that we are proud to operate and manage.”

He said that the improvements will mean it will “pay for itself well within the life of the course” and that they will increase usage of the park and its facilities.

An artist's impression of one of the new holes, based on the iconic Longholme Lake dragon boats. Image: Bedford Borough Council
An artist’s impression of one of the new holes, based on the iconic Longholme Lake dragon boats. Image: Bedford Borough Council

The development is in line with Mayor Tom Wootton’s pledge to put families at the heart of decisions within the Borough.

Jim Weir, portfolio holder for environment, highways, and transport at Bedford Borough Council, said:” The mini golf course is not just a recreational space, it’s an opportunity for families to come together, have fun, and learn about the rich history and landmarks that define Bedford Borough.

“This initiative aligns with our commitment to providing inclusive, accessible, and educational opportunities for all…[and] will be accessible year-round, unlike the current putting course.”

The project is set to commence in the coming weeks, with an expected duration of 8-12 weeks, aiming for completion by the Easter break.

“We understand the importance of preserving our green spaces, and we want to assure the community that every effort will be made to minimise any inconvenience during the construction period,” said James Lynch, team leader for open spaces, infrastructure and community engagement.

“This project is a testament to our dedication to enhancing recreational opportunities while preserving the natural beauty of Russell Park.”

Edited 06/02/24 @ 07:14 to include information regarding the fabric of the mini golf course.