Brickworks Exhibition at Ridgmont Station Heritage Centre

Written by Stephen Sleight on . Posted in Community Transport, MVCRP, Ridgmont Station, Ridgmont Tea Rooms

Take a step back into Bedfordshire’s past at a special one-day Brickworks Exhibition at Ridgmont Station Heritage Centre on Saturday 22nd April from 10:00 – 4:00. Free entry!

Andrew Mortlock, London Brick Archivist, will be bringing an extensive collection of archives, photographs and ephemera connected with the brickworks that used to dominate the landscape along the section of the Marston Vale Line between Bedford and Ridgmont and other areas of Bedfordshire. Andrew will also be bringing his collection of company magazines, the Phorpres News, containing records and photographs of London Brick Company workers.

Andrew and his family are steeped in London Brick with over 200 years’ service dating back to both his grandfathers.

Visitors to previous events were fascinated by Andrew’s exhibition, and a great deal of new information came to light, including photographs of former brickworks employees.

The Heritage Centre and Tea Room will be open as usual.

Stephen Sleight, Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership Officer said, “I am delighted we are able to host a Bedfordshire Brickworks Exhibition at Ridgmont Station Heritage Centre again. The brickworks are such an important part of the history of Bedfordshire and were the catalyst for the construction of the Marston Vale Line 170 years ago.   Please come along to find our more!” 

Above image: Copyright 2017 | Stephen Coleman

Ridgmont Station Heritage Centre in DfT Community Rail Film

Written by Stephen Sleight on . Posted in Community Transport, MVCRP, Ridgmont Station, Ridgmont Tea Rooms

Peter Batten, Head of Stations & Community Rail Policy at the Department for Transport, recently paid a special visit to Ridgmont Station Heritage Centre to record a film on Community Rail to be shown at the National Community Rail Seminar.

Peter met with members of the Friends of Ridgmont Station, Tea Room staff, Marston Vale CRP Officer Stephen Sleight & Faye Lambert, Community Engagement Lead & Head of Community Rail at London Midland, before being filmed in the 170 year-old Booking Office at the Heritage Centre.

The Heritage Centre with its award winning Tea Room was chosen as the base for the film as it meets all of the objectives in the Department for Transport Community Rail Strategy:

  • Increasing passenger numbers
  • Reducing costs
  • Increasing community involvement
  • Assisting regeneration

Stephen Sleight, Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership Officer, said, “I was delighted to welcome a senior official from the Department for Transport to Ridgmont Station Heritage Centre, and to see the building being selected as the focal point for this prestigious film on Community Rail. We are very proud of the building, and it’s terrific that it’s been recognised at a national level”.

Local Area Coordinators needed for new contract in Bedford Borough

Written by Jon Boswell on . Posted in Job vacancies, Latest News, Supporting Communities

BRCC has recently won a contract tendered by Bedford Borough Council for a development partner to introduce Local Area Coordinators across the Borough. The contract is for 2 years, with the option to extend for 1 further year.

The 3 Local Area Coordinators are to be catalysts for the development of community capacity and “self-help” groups. They will foster the creation of, and signpost people to, alternatives that can prevent entry to the care system. Early support and non-statutory intervention to nip problems in the bud and maintain independence is the focus for these roles. The target group is people with some vulnerability but not yet eligible for Council social care services.

In the interests of finding the best possible candidates for these positions, we will consider applications for job share (where a role is shared by two people applying together); job split (where a role is split on a part-time basis between two or more people applying separately); and secondment from other organisations.

An enhanced DBS check is required.

For further details, including how to apply, please download the files below:

BRCC Local Area Coordinator application information Mar 2017

Local Area Coordinator Application Form

BRCC-Job-Application-EO-monitoring

Application deadline: 9am on Wednesday 3rd May 2017.

Interviews: Tuesday 16th or Wednesday 17th May in Cardington.

 

Invitation to submit a tender for ‘Creating a Brand for the Greensand Country’

Written by Lisa King on . Posted in Greensand Country Landscape Partnership, Job vacancies, Latest News

The Greensand  Country Landscape Partnership is an exciting Landscape Partnership project focused on the Greensand Ridge in Bedfordshire, led by the Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity and the Greensand Trust.  ‘Greensand Country’ is an island of distinctive, beautiful and loved countryside, based on a band of higher ground stretching from Leighton Buzzard to Gamlingay, rising out of the surrounding clay vales. It contains all of Bedfordshire’s remaining heathland, more than half of its woodland, and more surviving historic parkland than any other landscape in the country, often surrounding notable manor houses. This landscape character is a legacy of its underlying Greensand geology, which led to much of it being regarded as ‘marginal land’ not suitable for agriculture, as well as its management over centuries by major estates. The area is one of Natural England’s distinct ‘National Character Areas (NCA 90 – The Wooded Greensand Ridge).

As part of our Development stage we commissioned a Landscape Character Assessment and an Audience Development and Interpretation plan (ADIP).  These both told us unequivocally that this is an under-recognised and under-appreciated landscape.

We want to create a coherent landscape which people identify and where we can tell a joined up story.

The term ‘Greensand Country’ has been adopted by the Greensand Country Landscape Partnership (GSCLP) to encompass the entire landscape and create a shared identity.

We now need create a brand for the Greensand Country; a logo; branding guidelines and a marketing and communications plan.

If you would like to submit a tender for this work, please ask for further details from: clairep@bedsrcc.org.uk

Claire Poulton.

Programme Manager
Greensand Country Landscape Partnership

Central Bedfordshire Village Halls & Community Buildings Survey 2017 – your response is much appreciated

Written by Jon Boswell on . Posted in Community Buildings Advice, Latest News

Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity and Central Bedfordshire Council are carrying out a survey to help inform future investment in community facilities and the provision of support services, as well as enabling an up to date directory to be produced.

We are aiming for as comprehensive a response as possible, so if you are involved in managing a community building in Central Bedfordshire, please ensure a response from your committee. You can find the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/centralbedfordshirecommunitybuildingssurvey2017

All people completing the survey will be entered into a prize draw for a free 5-year BRCC membership (currently worth £140) for their building. A full report analysing the findings will be produced and made available online.

If you have any enquiries relating to this survey, please contact Bob Hughes, Community Buildings Adviser, on (01234) 832646 or at bobh@bedsrcc.org.uk.

£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.

 

Seeking new staff for our LEADER grant programmes

Written by Jon Boswell on . Posted in Beds & Hunts Claylands, Greensand Ridge LAG, Job vacancies, Latest News, Rural Development

Are you seeking a new challenge in the Bedfordshire area? Could you assist rural businesses to negotiate the challenges of applying for European funding?

BRCC is the accountable body for two Local Action Groups (LAGs), covering the Greensand Ridge and Beds & Hunts Claylands areas. Following a review of staffing requirements, we are recruiting for two new positions for our delivery team:

LAG Officer
Download: Application information (PDF)

LAG Support Officer
Download: Application information (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 new Landscape Partnership 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 Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form

Please send these to Lisa King at lisak@bedsrcc.org.uk or by post to BRCC, The Old School, Cardington, Bedford MK44 3SX.

Come and visit the community vineyard!

Written by Jane Markham on . Posted in Latest News, Warden Abbey Vineyard

This year the Friends of Warden Abbey Vineyard will be offering more tours of BRCC’s community vineyard than ever before.

As well as monthly vineyard tour days between May and September, a couple of new history tours have been added to the programme. These walks round the vineyard will be led by volunteer Margaret Roberts who is writing a book on the history of the abbey.  As well as telling the story of the abbey, she’ll interpret the landscape features surrounding the vineyard and what they reveal about the life of the abbey’s occupants.

All the dates for 2017 vineyard tours, new history tours, and the main Open Day in September are now on the vineyard website, where you can book on-line. Gift vouchers for tours available too! Follow this link for details:  wardenvineyard.org.uk/tours

 

 

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.

PLEASE NOTE: THESE POSTIONS HAVE NOW BEEN FILLED (1/3/2017)

Tree planting in the Forest of Marston Vale

Written by Mike Fayers on . Posted in Green Infrastructure, Latest News, Supporting Communities, Volunteering

Get involved with a day of tree planting in the Forest of Marston Vale.

Come along any time between 11am and 3pm, on Sunday 12th Feb 2017, and help the Forest of Marston Vale reach its target of 6 million trees – all you need to bring is warm, waterproof clothes, and plenty of enthusiasm!

The Forest of Marston Vale will be supplying trees, tools and teas & coffees, so bring the whole family along to make a difference to the Forest, and plant something that will live for generations.

Free shuttle buses will be running throughout the day to the planting site in Cranfield, from the Forest Centre in Marston Moretaine.

For further information please contact:

 

Jo Roberts
Community Engagement Officer
Direct line: 01234 762608

Forest of Marston Vale, The Forest Centre, Station Road, Marston Moretaine, Bedford MK43 0PR
(For Sat Nav purposes, use MK43 0PS)

Tel: 01234 767037 │ Fax: 01234 762606 │ Web: www.marstonvale.org

Contact us

  • Main Office.
    The Old School
    Cardington
    Bedford
    MK44 3SX

    (01234) 838771
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    info@bedsrcc.org.uk
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