Countryside Access for Older People

What does it do?

As part of its commitment to improve the health and wellbeing of older people, the Council has adopted a preventative approach and  is keen to facilitate older people having access to the wide range of facilities which exist in rural parts of the County.  Outdoor access can be an important part of everyday life and can make a significant contribution to an older persons quality of life.

There are a wide range of public benefits from being able to use the countryside, including information leisure and recreation, sport, health and fitness, transport and travel.

The Council’s Countryside Access Service actively promotes outdoor access to Bedfordshire’s countryside, allowing older people to enjoy our open country, countryside parks and woodlands.  It works with partner groups to provide programmed walks, rides, activities and rural events. It also supports the needs of users with restricted mobility and encourages healthy active lifestyles through health walks and outdoor recreation, The Cultural Services Team, who are responsible for countryside access seek to enrich peoples lives by providing opportunities to:
  • Talk and cycle locally
  • Benefit health through exercise and sport
  • Learn about wildlife, the environment and local history
  • Volunteer and gain a sense of involvement, pride and ownership in local places by becoming involved in looking after them and promoting them

Who it is for?

for older people.

Where it is available?

Local service (Bedford).

How to access or apply for it:

If you would like more information, please contact us|.

Additional information:

There are similar opportunities within the Green Gym scheme run by BTCV (at, the UKs largest practical conservation charity, which has a branch in Bedford and runs several projects across the County. It enables older participants/volunteers to undertake a range of hands on activities to improve the rural and urban environment including: laying hedges, planting wild flowers and improving country paths and rights of way.  Such activities bring together many older people who are socially  isolated and can be a major contributing factor to significantly improving their health and wellbeing.


Info last updated: