Parking fees have remained at £2 per day at Rushmere Country Park since the park opened in 2011, with funds raised from grants to develop the facilities available to visitors, but to support the increasing cost of managing the park and its visitor centre, play areas and other facilities, local environmental charity The Greensand Trust needs to raise the charge with effect from 1 June 2017 to £3.

Savings can still be made by buying an annual Greensand Pass – this will cost £40 per annum. If you choose the Gift Aid option which adds a donation towards the upkeep of the park – this will cost £45. The Greensand Pass is available to purchase at www.greensandtrust.org or from the Visitor Centre.

Proceeds from parking go towards maintaining and running the park which is run on a not-for-profit basis by The Greensand Trust.  The park aims to be self-funding and parking fees contribute towards essential services such as the visitor centre, toilet facilities, play areas and play equipment, security, staff costs, cleaning, wildlife and environmental conservation, repairs and maintenance, woodland management, waste management and much more.

Visitors can enjoy this wonderful park with its 400 hectares of woodland and heathland for a whole day for just £3. Included in the fee are:

  • An ‘access for all’ sculpture trail where visitors can search for fairies and have a photograph in the Giant’s Chair
  • Play areas, a giant slide and play spots around the site
  • The heronry where you can watch herons raise their young in the Spring
  • A network of walking, cycling and horse-riding trails
  • Areas where dogs can be walked on and off the lead including a dog fun area specifically for our canine friends
  • Access to the Visitor Centre, toilets, the deck, Tree Tops Café, Herons Hatch, meadow for picnics and Stockgrove Visitor Centre and cafe

Rushmere Country Park is the holder of a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence as a result of the high number of excellent reviews it receives via the website.

Gill Welham, Chief Executive of the Greensand Trust, said: “We hope our visitors will understand the need to increase the charge. The trust has worked hard to raise funds and improve facilities since the park opened in 2011. During that time the running costs have increased and to ensure we conserve the site properly, we’ve  had to take the difficult decision to pass on some of the cost to our visitors who can enjoy all the park has to offer for what is still great value.

“Regular visitors can still save money by buying a Greensand Pass – this also entitles holders to park at the entrance of Maulden Wood near Clophill at our head office, The Working Woodlands Centre.

“If you choose the Gift Aid option when buying a Greensand Pass the additional 25p per pound from the government helps us carry out our conservation work and look after this wonderful park.”

Rushmere Country Park was made possible through a joint venture between the Greensand Trust and Central Bedfordshire Council who jointly own the site, with the operational management delegated to the Trust.  The Greensand Trust manages the site on a not for profit basis on behalf of this partnership, with the aim of creating a self-financed, high quality site for recreation and conservation.