Priory Country Park

Created 2008
Last Updated March 2017

Photo Jude Hirstwood


Contact Details
Priory Country Park
Barkers Lane
Bedford MK41 9SH Tel 01234 718012 E mail:

NB This is a new number, the Rangers have been moved out of their office at Priory and now have an office offsite. They are therefore not in the office much, but they do have a working ansaphone.

Every year the park rangers organise a series of bat walks at Priory and the bat group goes along to help. Places are limited to twenty people. A pleasant stroll around water bodies & woodland with bat detectors, while keeping a record of bat activity. A great way to get fresh air in the dark, learn more and see the bats in action. Comfy walking shoes and a torch are recommended. We provide bat detectors. 
suitable for those with limited mobility

You can expect good views of pipistrelles over the paths , Daubenton’s Bat on the finger lakes and Noctules flying overhead. This is also  the only known site in the county for Nathusius pipistrelles.

This is suitable for people with limited mobility

In addition we started a major bat box project in the park.2010-4-Priory box overview(PDF)
2011 Batboxes at Priory

The first phase of this project is now complete and has been written up by Daniel Fellman and Bob Cornes.It was published in the Bedfordshire Naturalist  Volume 69 Part 1. 2014. It was also featured in  The Bat Conservation Trust’s Bat News. You can read it here: Bat Boxes at Priory Country Park Those boxes which are showing wear and tear will not be replaced but Danny is continuing to monitor the remaining boxes

Last year Schwegler boxes are installed and these will also be monitored

Bat walks 2017

Gathering for a bat walk

These popular free bat walks are usually fully booked, so you are advised to make early bookings. Places are limited to 20 . Bedfordshire Bat Group members help out

Dates for 2017

Friday 12 May at 20:30
Friday 21 July at 21:00
Friday 18 August at 20:00
Friday 8 September at 19:30


Book with the Park Rangers.

Any bat group member that wants to help out, please contact Danny – the more the merrier

In addition the Bat Group organises walks at Priory for groups, so if there are at least ten of your friends interested ( maximum 20) get in touch and we will see what we can do.

Bats and Boats

Open to the public.These are not effected by the cuts as they were always done as a voluntary basis.They are run from the Viking Kayak club in Central Bedford and  you will watch bats from a rafted canoe,paddled by Viking Kayak Club members a spectacular way to spend an evening. Contact the Priory Rangers to book a place.

Dates for 2017

  • August 8th          20:30
  • August 22nd       20:00


Photo Bob Cornes

Read about Bats and Boats 2011 bats and boats

River Ouse Surveys

An ongoing project. The Viking Kayak Club has been taking us along the river for several years now. Places fill quickly. This project has helped us to identify Bat hot spots along the River Ouse.. The map below shows the distribution of pipistrelles.

Members only, book with Danny

Dates for 2017

  • May 9th               20:10
  • June 6th               20:45
  • July 4th                 20:50