The Greensand Trust is one of a number of partners involved in the Greensand Country Landscape Project which aims to raise awareness of the heritage of Greensand County, an area comprised of the 35-mile long Greensand Ridge and the Flit Valley.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has provided funding to deliver a Landscape Partnership programme and an array of exciting projects which will help raise awareness of the Greensand Country and reverse the gradual decline in the distinct landscape character of this beautiful and loved place. The programme will run from January 2017 until June 2021.

‘Greensand Country’ is an island of distinctive, beautiful and loved countryside, based on a band of higher ground stretching from Leighton Buzzard to Gamlingay, rising out of the surrounding clay vales. It contains all of Bedfordshire’s remaining heathland, more than half of its woodland, and more surviving historic parkland than any other landscape in the country, often surrounding notable manor houses. This landscape character is a legacy of its underlying Greensand geology, which led to much of it being regarded as ‘marginal land’ not suitable for agriculture, as well as its management over centuries by major estates.

However, the area’s distinctiveness has been weakening over decades due to modern development and the changing economics of land use. Key habitats are becoming fragmented and unsustainable in the longer term; views both of and from the area are being lost or impaired; houses are being built of the wrong vernacular; and traditional heritage skills are dying out. Just as significantly, there is a low level of awareness locally of the significance of the area’s landscape value and heritage.

The Greensand Country Landscape Partnership has been formed by a range of partners in the area to work with landowners and local communities to take a joined up approach to meeting the challenges in the area. Our vision is for the Greensand Country to be a living and working landscape that is cherished by present and future generations. By 2021 we will have reversed the gradual decline in the area’s landscape character, and created a strong, community led partnership and strategic framework to promote the area’s interests and secure the necessary long-term financial and community investment to sustain the area’s distinctive natural and built heritage.

For more information please visit the Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity which is the accountable body for the partnership.