Foraging for award at Tiddenfoot Waterside Park

Foragers Way, Tom Wise.

Foragers Way, Tom Wise.

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Ongoing work to spruce up Linslade’s Tiddenfoot Waterside Park has been recognised by the Bedfordshire branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

The Foragers’ Way project was honoured at CPRE’s Living Countryside Awards held at Moggerhanger Park last Tuesday – picking up a silver award in the biodiversity and landscape category.

Picking up their award

Picking up their award

The Living Countryside Awards are now in their sixth year and recognise those people and projects that are making a positive difference to Bedfordshire’s countryside.

The Foragers Way project, run by the Friends of Tiddenfoot Waterside Park, was begun in late 2013 and is scheduled to run for the next four to five years.

Tom Wise, Friends of Tiddenfoot Waterside Park vice chairman, said he was sceptical about the group’s chances of picking up an award as there were many competing higher cost schemes.

On the silver, he said: “This is a superb result, due entirely to the commitment of the Friends Group who started this project less than seven months earlier. Who can say what could be achieved if work continues until the job is done? The next award scheme is projected to be in 2016.”

He added: “The project is both a hedge laying along Mentmore Road and the planting of over 500 ‘whips’ (baby trees) along the fence that marks the northern boundary of the park. The Friends have raised the funds to do this from many sources, including Waitrose and Leighton Linslade Town Council, and have enjoyed many workdays where their time is freely given.

“A further programme of workdays has been announced, beginning on October 30. A further six days work is planned, details on our website. We are always looking for volunteers to help as we believe that ‘many hands make light work’.”

Woburn Golf Club also also picked up a CPRE accolade, earning a silver inthe sustainable enterprise category.

It was praised for addressing the challenge of being self-sufficient in the large quantities of water needed for irrigating a golf course located on heathland.

The club has made a major investment by constructing a borehole and a 108,000cubic metre reservoir. The aquifer is monitored and extraction is carried out only when ground water levels are high.

The surrounding land yielded Roman archaeological finds and is now laid to meadow, attracting bees, butterflies and birds of prey.

> The full list of awards can be found on www.cprebeds.org.uk: