Welcome to the Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Park
BMK Waterway Trust
Aims to create a nationally recognised Waterway Park linking Bedford and Milton KeynesFind out more
Book your Cruise on the John Bunyan Community Boat
Enjoy a cruise along the Gt Ouse in Bedford on our 50 seat community boat the John BunyanFind out more
Can the Waterway Park help combat future drought?
The Bedford and Milton Keynes Waterway Trust has been an advocate for a new waterway park linking Bedford and Milton Keynes since 1996. In recent years we have increasing argued that it should be given serious consideration as a piece of green/blue infrastructure that can achieve many positive outcomes:
● an economic boost for the region through the establishment of a new navigation and recreation location
● increased biodiversity through the creation of new wetlands and parkland
● excellent cycle and walking routes through Marston Vale
● improved water management opportunities
It is this last benefit which needs to come to the forefront right now. The country is facing serious drought and all the predictions are that we are facing more extended hot and arid periods. Our countryside, our businesses and we all need water. A new link between the River Great Ouse in Bedford and the Grand Union Canal and rivers in Milton Keynes could be a crucial resource. The capacity of the link to help remove water during flood and redistribute during drought is at last being looked at more seriously.
Help secure benefits for the Waterway Park by responding to Bedford Local Plan 2040 consultation
Bedford Borough Council is currently consulting on its Local Plan 2040 which sets out policies and proposals for the future of the Bedford area. The Waterway Park has been included in the Local Plan for some time but in this latest version there is much stronger emphasis on the Waterway as one of Bedford’s key green/blue infrastructure projects. We want to support and welcome this move. See page 53 where a strategic plan for a large area south of Bedford is proposed and also page 58 where reference is made to a new housing site at Gibraltar Corner which can help deliver the Waterway. Policies HO12 and HOU13 are important in supporting the Waterway. See Policy HOU13 on pages 53 to 58 of the Plan
The Local Plan can be viewed HERE
We want to ensure these policies remain in the plan. The more local support the policies receive during consultation the stronger the case for ensuring the policies are included in the final version of the Local Plan 2040. This is what the Trust has said in response:
The B&MK Waterway Trust welcomes the emphasis that the draft Plan places on the Waterway Park as a strategic green/blue infrastructure project. In particular the Trust supports The South of Bedford Strategic policy area and the ambition to support the delivery of the Bedford and Milton Keynes Waterway Park as part of the green/blue infrastructure for the area. The Trust supports policy HOU12 especially the focus on enhancing natural capital by continuing to deliver the Forest of Marston Vale and enhancing the multifunctional green infrastructure network to provide the basis for distinctive place making.
The Trust strongly supports the proposal for a strategic place making framework to guide development across the South of Bedford policy area which will be adopted as a Supplementary Planning Document. The Trust would wish to be involved as a stakeholder in the preparation of the SPD. With regard to Figure 5, the concept plan for the South of Bedford area, the Trust considers that it flags up the opportunity to more closely realign NCN 51 along the route of the Waterway.
With regard to specific locations the Trust supports Policy HOU13 Land at Gibraltar Corner, and its reference to provision of land to facilitate the Bedford to Milton Keynes Waterway Park to the east of the housing allocation.
The Trust also strongly supports the inclusion of the route of the Waterway Park in the Key Diagram.
We are looking for your comment on the Local Plan and your support of the inclusion of the route of the Waterway Park in the Local Plan.
Your comments can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
The consultation ends 29th July.
What’s happening in the BMK Waterway Park
We are always busy promoting the Waterway Park, raising funds and awareness through our community boats and working on projects along the route. View all news here
17th AGM Agenda on 6th June at 7.30pm & Minutes of previous AGM
17th ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE BEDFORD & MILTON KEYNES WATERWAY TRUST HELD AT:
Box End Park, Box End, Bedford
ON Tuesday 6th June 2022 AT 7.30 PM
BMK Newsletter March 2023
Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Trust Newsletter March 2023: BMK News March 2023 Nov 2022: BMK news Nov 2022 July 2022: BMK news July 2022 April 2022: BMK news April 2022 Nov 2021: BMK news Nov 2021 July 2021: BMK news July 2021 March 2021: BMK news March 2021 October 2020: BMK news Oct […]
Kempston Mill landing stage see it first overnight mooring
Kempston Mill landing stage see it first overnight mooring
John Bunyan Community Boat officially awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service by Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Helen Nellis
The volunteers of the John Bunyan Community boat have been officially awarded The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – the MBE for volunteer groups by the Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Helen Nellis. They are among 244 local charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year during the Queens Platinum Jubilee year.
John Lewis and Waitrose team up with community boat Electra.
Tenants from sheltered housing in Bletchley, for people living with dementia, were treated to a canal boat cruise on Thursday 28th May, thanks to the generosity of the John Lewis Partnership.
The Board of the Inland Waterway Association visit Bedford
On the 12th March Bedford was honoured to host, for the first time, the board of the Inland Waterway Association. IWA is a national organisation which works to protect and restore Britain’s network of canals and navigable rivers for the enjoyment of everyone.
THE JOHN BUNYAN BOAT ANNOUNCES NEW CRUISES FOR THIS SUMMER
April draws near which signals the start of the John Bunyan Community Boat’s cruising season. This year we have a number of new cruises which encompass the delight of cruising with another activity be it dining, learning of the History of Bedford or even Gin. Starting in April on the 18th April there will be […]
The John Bunyan Community Boat announces the 2022 Cruise Program.
April to September will see the familiar sight of the blue and white John Bunyan Community Boat gracing the River Great Ouse in and around Bedford. Over 46,000 passengers have enjoyed cruising on the vessel in the past 9 years on various trips, from Kempston in the West to Great Barford in the East. Manned entirely by volunteers for the benefit of the residents of Bedford and surrounding districts.
The Parks Trust teams up with Electra to offer new cruising opportunities
Major works to restore and interpret the historic park at Great Linford Manor have included the provision of a mooring point for Electra.
Your donations are making the waterway park a reality
Extending the navigation on the Gt Ouse, marking & securing the route as well as technical and economic studies, these are just some of the projects we are working on.Make a Donation
Would you like to volunteer with Trust?
All of our work from running the community boats to planning and promoting the route is carried out by volunteers. We are always looking for enthusiastic people to get involved.Find out more