Information Web Site Priory Country Park
Riverside Trail
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The riverside trail, is a 4 mile walk that takes in most of the park.

The paths are a mixture of hard-surfaced and those that have a natural surface, so it can get a bit muddy at times.

If there has been a lot of rain you may not be able to complete the whole route due to flooding.

Follow the red way marker.

This trail takes you through most of the different habitats that are in the park, including riverside, lakeside, meadows and woodland edge.

The meadows are a mixture of both long and short grass in order to encourage biodiversity. They are a haven for invertebrates, small mammals, and their predators such as Kestrels and Owls.

The trail takes you over the New Cut which was dug out in the 1840’s as a flood relief channel for the old Bedford to Sandy railway.

On the far side of the river you can see where new habitats such as reedbeds and ponds have been created after gravel extraction. The island areas attract breeding lapwings, and plovers, while newly restored areas attract breeding skylarks.

As you walk along past the Finger Lakes, and around the main lake you will see the Canoe Slalom, which is used regularly by the local canoeing clubs for national and inter-club events, and also by local emergency services for water rescue training.

Along the riverbank you will see many veteran willow pollards. These trees support many species of insects and fungi, and were part of the landscape before the creation of the Country Park.

Follow the trail through the oldest feature of the park, the medieval fish ponds (circa 1164), which still hold water after prolonged rain fall.