First park opens at Linmere for New Year

The first of several parks to be created at new village Linmere next to Houghton Regis has opened to the public for the New Year.

Fencing has been removed from the three-acre Linmere Park South, providing access for Houghton Regis and Linmere residents – and anyone else living, working or relaxing in the area. The opening follows a programme to install new seating, plant 80 trees and create wildflower areas.

The 11-acre Linmere Park North is due to open in the spring, once the planting has become more established.

Linmere Park includes a 100-metre running track, a 500-metre perimeter track and a cycle pump track, designed for use by people of all abilities. The park has been created to ensure the space offers as much scope as possible for the widest number of people, with flexibility for all forms of informal sports use.

Green Park, next to Thornhill School, currently at the design stage, will offer sports pitches and games facilities, play areas and picnic spaces on 7.5 acres and is likely to open in 2023.

The parks make up around 90 of the 190 acres of natural habitat and green space at Linmere, all of which will be the looked after by national charity The Land Trust.

Day-to-day responsibility to help residents make the most of their natural environment falls to community ranger, Richard Eltringham who will use his background in social and therapeutic horticulture to devise activities to help residents get out into nature.

Landscape architect Alex Comrie, director at Linmere’s planning and design consultancy Barton Willmore, said: “Linmere is leading the way in putting landscaping first. It’s a landscape-led development, with parks, open spaces and green corridors. We’re taking a long-term view.

It’s not just something which we put on the master plan. We’re creating a legacy which will be around for decades to come. As a landscape architect I am always striving to do more to enhance biodiversity and the quality and beauty of green spaces.”

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