£1.66 million from Heritage Lottery Fund awarded to help preserve the character of the Greensand Country landscape

Written by Jon Boswell on . Posted in Greensand Country Landscape Partnership, Latest News

The Greensand Country Landscape Partnership (managed by BRCC) is delighted to announce that it has secured £1.66m National Lottery funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to support an array of exciting projects which will help us raise awareness of the hidden heritage of the Greensand Country and to reverse the gradual decline in the distinct character of this beautiful and loved landscape.

‘Greensand Country’ is an island of higher ground, which is made up of the Greensand Ridge and the surrounding river valleys. It stretches from Leighton Buzzard to Gamlingay, rising out of the flatter clay vales. The area’s sandy soils were not suitable for agriculture, so by medieval times the land was mainly used for grazing, woodland, deer hunting and keeping rabbits. Much of this ‘poor’ land had been used to support the foundation of monasteries, but when these were dissolved under Henry VIII, the land was given away to those in the king’s favour, who built their manor houses and parks up on the former monastic estates. As a result of this history, the area contains all of Bedfordshire’s remaining lowland heathland, more than half of its woodland, and more surviving historic parkland than any other landscape in the country.

However, the landscape’s very distinctive character has been weakening over decades due to modern development and changes in land use. Valuable habitats are becoming fragmented; views of and from the area are being lost or impaired and traditional heritage skills are dying out.

The Greensand Country Landscape Partnership has been formed by a range of partners in the area who will work with landowners and local communities to take a joined up approach to meeting the challenges in the area. The Partnership is led by BRCC and the Greensand Trust, and also includes the RSPB, The Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire, Central Bedfordshire Council, Bedfordshire and Luton Biodiversity Recording and Monitoring Centre, Bedfordshire Geology Group, Sustrans, British Horse Society, Flitwick Town Council, Shuttleworth College, local landscape author Brian Kerr, Community Voluntary Service, The Shuttleworth Trust, Federation of Small Businesses, Arnold White Estates Limited and Clophill Heritage Trust.

The 4-year programme will deliver the following:

  • Restoration and expansion of key habitats such as lowland heathland and grasslands
  • Events, workshops and festivals focused on the landscape and its heritage
  • Improvements to footpaths, cycle ways and bridleways
  • Much greater provision of information about the area, its hidden stories and its history, and its significance to our national and local heritage
  • Training and apprenticeships in order to develop the skills needed to look after this landscape for the future
  • Opportunities for local communities to volunteer and bid for funding for their own heritage projects

The Partnership is now hard at work getting started on the programme and recruiting three staff (see job advertisement here).

Jon Boswell, Chief Executive at Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity and Chair of the GCLP, said: “We are thrilled to have gained this funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to deliver our Landscape Partnership programme with our partners in the area. Even locally, the fascinating heritage of the Greensand Country is not well known. As a result of this funding, we will be able to preserve the distinctive character of much of this beautiful landscape, and provide a multitude of opportunities for local people and visitors to enjoy and learn about the landscape and contribute to its future conservation.”

Robyn Llewellyn, Head of HLF East of England, said: “From healthy heathlands and working woodlands to storytelling and geotrails, we’re delighted to support this project which will achieve a sustainable future for the Greensand landscape and reconnect people with the natural heritage on their doorstep.

“Alongside a diverse partnership of organisations, volunteers and communities will play an integral role in this exciting vision for Greensand Country, gaining the skills and experience needed to not only reverse its decline but ensure it continues to thrive beyond the lifespan of the project.”

If you would like to learn more or get involved please see http://bedsrcc.org.uk/rural/greensand-country-landscape-partnership/

The Greensand Country Landscape Partnership is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. It is made possible by National Lottery players. Without them we couldn’t fund the project.


The Greensand Country Landscape Partnership seeks applicants for new roles.

Written by Jon Boswell on . Posted in Greensand Country Landscape Partnership, Job vacancies, Latest News

We have recently secured funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to deliver an array of exciting projects, which will help us raise awareness of the heritage value of the Greensand Country and reverse the gradual decline in the distinct landscape character of this beautiful and loved place.

BRCC is the accountable body for the Greensand Country Landscape Partnership, a new Partnership established with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Greensand Country comprises the Greensand Ridge (a 35 mile-long narrow wooded sandstone ridge to the south of Bedford), and the Flit Valley.

We are now seeking to fill three new roles.

Communications and Engagement Officer
Download: Information Pack (PDF)

Conservation and Project Officer
Download: Information Pack (PDF)

Programme Support Officer
Download: Information Pack (PDF)

Equal Opportunities Monitoring
Please complete, and return with your application, our Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form, which can be downloaded below:

Download: Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form

Looking for our LEADER programme posts instead? Visit here.

To Apply

Please send:

1.    A CV which shows us how your knowledge, skills and experience fit the role as described in the person specification and job description.

2.    A supporting statement which describes:

a.    The experience and knowledge you have which would enable you to carry out the role as described in the job description.

b.    How you fit with the selection criteria as set out in the person specification.

c.    Why you would like this role.

3.    The Monitoring Form

Please e mail these to Claire Poulton at clairep@bedsrcc.org.uk, or by post to BRCC, The Old School, Cardington, Bedford MK44 3SX.

If you would like an informal chat please call Claire on: 07534484971.


Rate your views of the Greensand Ridge

Written by Lisa King on . Posted in Greensand Country Landscape Partnership, Latest News, Rural campaigns, Rural Development

The ‘Secrets of the Sands’ Landscape Partnership for the Greensand Ridge needs your help to build a visual record of our landscape using a new smartphone app called ‘Rate My View’.

Developed by Plymouth University in partnership with the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) team, ‘Rate My View’ is an exciting new way to capture and share what you really feel about your local landscape. By helping us to explore the area, better understand how we all see it and discover what we particularly value about it, you will be adding valuable pieces to our jigsaw allowing us to complete the giant puzzle which makes up the Greensand Ridge landscape.

If you would like to play a part in this exciting project, please visit the App Store or Google Play and download the free app. Once installed on your smartphone you will be able to take a photo of your favourite place on the Ridge and then tell us why it is special to you.  Please make sure your GPS is on when you take the photo as this will enable us to pinpoint the location.  The app gives you the option to include three phrases with your photo to describe Why this is your favourite place on the ridge, what it means to you and Why it makes the Greensand Ridge unique to you. You can then upload and rate your pictures of the Greensand Ridge to the Rate My View website and also see how other people view our local landscape.

It’s easy, quick and good fun to use – so have a go and help us in the process.

Contact us

  • Main Office.
    The Old School
    MK44 3SX

    (01234) 838771
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