Green Wellbeing

Our Green Wellbeing* community referral service links people to nature-based activities which can improve their health and wellbeing.

These activities can include:

  • green exercise, such as local Walking for Health schemes and dementia walks
  • active travel (such as walking or cycling)
  • local Park Runs
  • care farming
  • community gardening and food growing projects
  • conservation volunteering
  • green gyms
  • and arts and cultural activities which take place outdoors.

Browse our activities listing to see some of the opportunities that are available both in Bedfordshire and nationally.

If you need help or support to access one of these activities please contact our friendly team.

* The Green Wellbeing service is also known as Green Social Prescribing

Active lifestyles – Central Bedfordshire Council

The Active Lifestyles Team provides a range of physical activity programmes as well as information and advice designed to give the whole community the opportunity to live a healthier and more active lifestyle.

Box End Open Water Swimming

Box End Park is the perfect training venue for open water swimming.

  • Our lakes are spring fed, making the water incredibly clean and safe for swimmers
  • Our site is fully serviced with free secure car parking, outdoor changing rooms and lockers
  • There is a first aid trained safety observer present during all swimming sessions
  • We have a full range of rental wetsuits available for hire priced at £5 (these can be hired from reception on arrival)

Find out more at the Box End website

Cycling Route 51

Route 51 is a long-distance route that connects major cities in the south of England. It links Milton Keynes, Bedford, Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich on its way and also links the university cities of Oxford and Cambridge with the coast at Felixstowe before continuing to Harwich and Colchester.

Starting in the historic city of Oxford the route takes you from Balliol College, one of Oxford’s oldest colleges, founded around 1263, and out north along the Oxford Road. Passing Bletchingdon and Wendlebury the route takes you through the centre of Bicester.

Continuing on roads, the route travels through Twyford and Winslow before arriving in Milton Keynes. The route passes Furzton Lake, which has a large population of geese and other waterfowl, before taking you through Campbell Park and skirting Willen Lake. The route travels through Ouzel Valley Park and then heads towards the town of Bedford.

Just after Bedford at Great Barford you follow Route 12 for a short time until Huntingdon, travelling past Grafham Water, which offers watersport activities including windsurfing and dinghy sailing.

Visit the Sustrans website to find out more.

Green Wheels

Green Wheels are multi-user access routes around communities which pass through corridors of landscape, habitat and heritage interest.

Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity is at the forefront of developing these community assets, in partnership with Central Bedfordshire Council and local town and parish councils.

They are particularly valuable in providing access to green space and supporting biodiversity around areas of significant housing growth, such as the Ivel Valley.

There are currently Green Wheels in Biggleswade, Sandy and Etonbury.

For more information and to download leaflets please visit the Central Bedfordshire Council website.

Ivel Valley Conservation Volunteers

The Ivel Valley Conservation Volunteers (IVCV) have been undertaking weekly tasks in east Bedfordshire for nearly 20 years.

The group is led by trained BRCC staff and delivers an annual programme of weekly conservation and access enhancement tasks including;

  • tree and hedge planting
  • scrub clearance
  • pond creation
  • clearance and the installation of kissing gates, benches, fences and bridges.

Learn new skills

IVCV enables participants to learn new skills at the same time as improving their physical and mental health.  The group is particularly popular with older people.

Meeting most Tuesdays, the group is open to all.

Vounteering at Warden Abbey Vineyard

The vineyard is lovingly cared for all year round by local people giving their time to the project. It’s a great green gym, and unique way to enjoy the outdoors, meet new people, and relax from the stresses of life.

Volunteer sessions at the vineyard are generally held on Tuesdays and Fridays, between 9.30am and 4pm, depending on the seasonal task to be done.

We hope to expand this to include some weekend sessions over the summer.

If you have any time to spare and would like to come and try your hand, we would love to see you at one of our sessions.  No experience necessary and a great opportunity to learn about viticulture as well as meet a wide range of people.

Any time you could volunteer would be great, from a couple of hours to the whole day.

Due to Covid-19, volunteering sessions are currently restricted in size and subject to a pre-booked volunteer schedule.

To get more information about volunteering, please contact Vineyard Manager, Jane Markham.

Walking for health

With Walking 4 Health you can take part in a free short walk nearby at pace that works for you.

Our health walks are regular walks which are free and open to all though aimed particularly at people who are presently doing little or no exercise.

They usually last from 60 to 90 minutes, though there are also some shorter ‘beginners’ walks.

At the end of the walk we encourage walkers to socialise – therefore many of our walks finish where people can have a drink and a chat.

Walking in Central Bedfordshire Countryside

What better way to enjoy Central Bedfordshire than by walking in it?

The ‘Walking Works’ report by The Ramblers and Macmillan Cancer support says that walking could transform health. More information can be found on the Walking for health website.

There are plenty of routes to choose from. Whether it’s a gentle one-mile stroll around Flitton Moor or an enthusiastic 40 miles on the nationally acclaimed Greensand Ridge Walk, you will always be able to find just the right level of activity for the whole family.

Find out more and download routes and maps at the Central Bedfordshire Council website

Walking, cycling and riding in Bedford Borough

Bedford Borough has lots of opportunities for you to walk, cycle or ride for both leisure and business journeys.

You can improve your health, discover the most attractive parts of the area, learn about history and even travel more quickly.

Find out more by visiting the Bedford Borough Council website

Woburn Lido

The goal of Woburn Lido is to give the residents of Woburn and the surrounding villages both a swimming pool that can be used for training and exercise, and also a place to go for a day out with the family. The team works tirelessly to make sure that user comfort and satisfaction is at it’s maximum.

Find out more at the Lido website.