Updated  1st July 2024

Wilshamstead Parish Council

Highways Safety In The Village

The Parish Council would like to kindly remind all members of the Wilstead community to please be considerate to one another when it comes to keeping the roads, footways and footpaths clear for all users to access safely.

This is a polite reminder: please do not park vehicles over driveways, or nearby property entrances as this causes access issues for others. This is also a highways safety issue for all road users as it dangerously limits the visibility and sight line when entering and exiting a driveway.

A lot of work is being done by the Parish Council with officers across various different departments at Bedford Borough Council, along with the Borough Ward Councillors, the local Community Police Team as well as local businesses to improve highways safety. So please do not place waste bins, traffic cones or other objects onto the village highways as this causes a hazard.

Please remember that if a situation arises where there is a vehicle parked dangerously, causing an obstruction or limiting visibility then Bedford Borough Council should be contacted. The local Highways Authority do have appropriate powers that can be used.

Bedford Borough Council will issue fines (penalty charge notice or PCNs) for the following types of illegal parking:

·     parking on yellow lines

·     not displaying a valid parking ticket

·     parking on pavements or verges where a restriction is in place

·     parking across driveways

They do not get involved with neighbourly disputes or inconsiderate parking.  To report an illegally parked vehicle, please contact the Enforcement Team on enforcement.team@bedford.gov.uk or 01234 718359 or text enforcement requests to 07553895403.

An Enforcement Officer will respond to your request as soon as possible, but they may not be able to do so immediately if they are patrolling elsewhere in the Borough.  Please note you won't get a reply about the outcome of an Enforcement Officer visit, however, the Parish Council would encourage residents to report concerns directly so appropriate action can be followed up.

Other Reporting Issues – Where To Raise Them

The Parish Council are mindful that it can be difficult to know where to report an issue, so here is some useful information on where it is best to send items to.

If you come across a highways issue on a road, footway, or a public right of way such as a footpath or bridleway then please report it to the Local Authority via the highways.helpdesk@bedford.gov.uk or via the Borough Council website, where you will receive automatic updates.

If there is an environmental issue, such as litter, fly tipping, noise, bins, graffiti, abandoned vehicles then please make contact with Bedford Borough Council via environmental.helpdesk@bedford.gov.uk or again via the Borough Council website: Bedford.gov.uk

With exceptionally quick vegetation growth at this time of the year there is often an issue so please report concerns to one of the email addresses above who will follow up and look to have the concern addressed.

Overgrown Hedges

More than ever this year the Parish Council's attention has been drawn to problems caused by hedges that have grown to the point that they are either obstructing pavements or are a hazard to users of the pavements. At the extreme pedestrians are required to walk on the road, and in some instances brambles in hedges have caused physical injury to pedestrians who did not see them in the dark.

The pavement is the responsibility of Bedford Borough Council, but anything growing behind the back edge of the pavement and growing over it is the responsibility of the occupier. In extreme instances Bedford Borough Council can cut back a hedge, but it may then send an account for the cost of the work to the property's occupier.

It is appreciated that in the short term a severe pruning of a hedge will reduce its attractiveness, but hedges, unless they are conifers, do recover quickly.  If you have a hedge please check it, and if it is intruding into the footpath can you cut it back, please?

Citizens Advice Reminder…...

Citizens Advice are now providing an outreach service by coming to different parts of the Borough, and will be in the village with the mobile library next due in Wilstead on Wednesday 28th August in:

·     Black Hat Close 1.55pm to 2.10pm

·     76 Cotton End Road 2.15pm to 2.35pm

·     Vicarage Lane layby 2.40pm to 2.55pm

·     Methodist Church (public) 3.00pm to 3.45pm

Keep a look out for the mobile library van and it is also a great way to browse the variety of stock in the library who always welcome new members.

East West Rail Consultation Postponed

Following the Government announcement to hold a General Election, East West Rail have communicated in a recent update that in order that East West Rail complies with pre-election guidelines, the Statutory Consultation will now not be able to begin in June as originally planned.  It is understood that they will detail next steps as soon as they can.

Local Community Police Update

There is a new Sergeant, Sarah Cluff for the Community North Rural Policing Team based at Riseley Police Station which covers Wilstead.  The local team is increasing with the addition of PC Peter Lawson and they are expecting a further two Police Constables to join the team in the near future.

The Police are looking to increase communication of events and engagements, and will now be using 'Beds Connect' which is a platform already in use by the Police Watch scheme.  Do sign up to receive these email updates, by a QR Code available from the Clerk.

A reminder that any reporting of incidents and concerns through the appropriate reporting methods at www.beds.police.uk where an online form can be completed, or you can partake in a web-chat, or of course you can dial 101, or 999 in an emergency.

Contacting The Parish Council

The best way to contact the Parish Council is to email Lizzie (the Parish Clerk) at:


Alternatively, you can call 01234 743152 or write to PO Box 1548, Bedford, MK44 5AX.

Please note the Parish Office (at the rear of the Village Hall) is open most Mondays, 9.00am to midday. It is worth ringing in advance to ensure it is open.

The next Parish Council meeting is planned for Monday 22nd July.  As always, the meeting will be held at 7.00pm in the Small Hall of the Village Hall.  Members of the Public are always welcome to attend and to raise any issues of concern during the “Open” part of the meeting.

Garden Club

Our meeting in June was at Beck House in Wrestlingworth.  I cannot speak more highly about this garden, it was marvellous. Two and a half acres of well cared for garden with a number of different areas, such as perennial, woodland and rose garden.

Nineteen members thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon and the company of Tory and Donal who made us most welcome and both are keen gardeners. They walked around with us answering any questions and then left us to enjoy the garden at leisure. We had delicious homemade cakes and tea and coffee in the garden at the end of our tour.

The garden is open to the public with the NGS scheme and it is open the weekend of the Saturday 27th July and Sunday 28th July from 2 -5.30pm. The entrance is £8.00 and I fully recommend it.

Our July meeting is to the Panacea Museum in Bedford. We will be meeting there on Thursday 18th July at 11.00am.A reminder will be sent to members nearer the date.

Earlier in the year the Club had an interesting talk about the organisation and the lives of its members, which was worldwide for a time. The museum is open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and entry is. The museum is housed within the various buildings that the society members lived in together with attractive gardens once called Bedford's Garden of Eden.

Planning Committee: Annette, Lynda, Julia, Maralyn, Chris, Mary and Viv


Houghton Wilstead Golf Cup 2024

(Sponsored by Premier Solicitors)

On Friday 26th July, golfers from either side of the A6 will come together to battle it out for bragging rights in the 18th year of the Houghton Wilstead Golf Cup.

Once again, all proceeds from the event will be donated to Sue Ryder St John's Hospice. The hospice is a charity that is close to many people's lives in the local community.

Sue Ryder St John's Hospice supports people through the most difficult times of their lives. Their doctors, nurses and carers give people the compassionate, expert care they need to help them live the best life they possibly can.

Everyone is welcome to get involved with this community lead event.

Please reach out if you would like to...

·     Play golf in the event

·     Attend in the evening

·     Sponsor a hole

·     Volunteer on the day to help run the event/take photos etc.

If you do not want to play, you can still support by buying raffle tickets. These are also being sold in Wilstead PO and Houghton Conquest PO right up until Thursday 25th July.

Houghton Wilstead Golf Cup Committee



Wilstead Primary School

There is no winding down for us as we head into the summer holidays!

Apart from school trips, sleepovers and summer fayres, we are busy getting ready for maintenance works over the summer.

Living in a close community like Wilstead, we can always rely on local residents to keep an eye on the school when it is not in use. So we wanted to let you know about expected works taking place in July and August, whilst the children are not here.

We will have a new canopy installed to the front of the premises. We were fortunate to secure grant funding for this project. Our aim is to provide shelter and inclusivity between the newest classroom building and the main school, as well as provide an additional learning space.

We have new playground markings being drawn on the back playground, again generously grant funded, this time by the Parish Council. Both of these works are expected the second week of August.

An aerial drone video of the school premises will also take place so we can showcase the school to prospective parents. This is expected at the end of August. It is being created by our photographers, who assure us that they carry all necessary insurance and have the expertise to avoid intruding on our neighbours whilst they provide a great visual tool for our website.

It is going to be a busy summer, as this is all alongside our normal maintenance jobs such as painting, boiler, electrical and fire system works!

Fingers crossed the weather soon brightens up and stays that way for us all.

Miss Brown


Wilstead & Wixams

Good Neighbours

July News

A call for volunteers (Again)!

I have to report that we are beginning to have to tell those that phone in for help for medical visits that we are unable to help as we do not have the volunteers available at this time. As time goes by we naturally lose volunteers through various circumstances and we are not getting new blood coming in, if this continues we are at risk of having to virtually close the group down. So please consider the future of this group!

This is a reminder that the next Wilstead Community Cafe dates in the village hall are Friday 12th and Friday 26th Friday July and Friday 9th & Friday 26th August. at the normal times 2.00pm to 3:30pm. And don't forget Wixams at the Lakeview Village Hall every Tuesday 10:30am to 12 midday.

All ages welcome!!

Regards to all.

Rick Baxter


01234 740854

WWGNS Phone 07807 408928

Wilstead Bowls Club

The sun is finally shining on Wilstead Bowls Club…. long may it continue….

It's very busy on the green with games being played at all levels: club, friendlies, local leagues, county league and county.

We would like to congratulate our Mens Fours Team, Dave Rosier, Roy Whiffin, Paul Huntington, and Graham Field, who won the Bedfordshire County Final and now go on to play in the National Finals at Leamington in August.

Wilstead Primary School Years 5 and 6 have been to play outdoors, an enjoyable time was had by all, with parents and grandparents invited to come and watch the final sessions.

We've had our two Open Days for the season and despite the weather there was a good level of interest. if you missed them but are still interested in playing please get in touch.

If you haven't done so visit our website


If you need any club information you can contact:

Sue Marchant

Club Secretary

07716 676383


Footpath Group


The next Footpath Group meetings will be on Saturday 3rd August and Saturday 12th October in the Village Hall, small hall, at 10.00am.

There will be a report on each of the Public Footpaths and Bridleways in the parish. These reports will be based on inspections undertaken just before the meetings by members of the group.

Not only will the path's surface have been checked but also any overgrowth which is restricting movement along the path will have been identified.

Come along if you are interested in the paths around the village and fancy helping to keep an eye on them. See how the reporting process works and how the group identifies what work is required to ensure that all the paths remain usable for all the village, (without having to wade or duck!!).

Working Parties

The June Working Parties looked to address any problems associated with paths at each end of the village.

Wilstead Footpath 1 Littleworth to Cotton End.

This footpath which bends its way round several fields and across the parish boundary to Cotton End had the field edge paths cleared and a great deal of overhanging vegetation removed.

Footpaths 3 Bedford Rd to Wixams & Houghton Conquest.

The narrow gap between the hedge and perimeter fence at Vicarage Farm was cleared and the subsequent path across a field to the A6 was mown with any overhanging vegetation removed.  The kissing gates on each side of the A6 were also cleared.

Thanks to the new residents of Vicarage Farm for the refreshments they gave the workers!

Over the summer it is hoped to hold several Working Parties which will address mainly vegetation overgrowth/undergrowth. The warm and wet weather seems to be encouraging growth!

This should keep all of the 11 miles of Public Rights of Way in the Parish usable. There will always be times, especially after rain, when there may be a bit of mud on the Footpaths or Bridleways so appropriate footwear for walking in the countryside is recommended.


In early May the Group had a walk around Maulden Woods and along footpaths to the west of the woods, parking by Maulden Church.  The great belts of bluebells in the Wood were again a sight to behold and the stroll through the grass pastures, round ploughed fields and through the trees was very pleasant in the evening sunshine.

The June walk was a bit nearer home and went along the paths and bridleways which link parts of the village. Starting from Whitworth Way we made our way along the Footpaths 18 & 5 to Luton Road and then via Home Close to the Churchyard / Burial Ground and allotments to emerge on Bedford Road.  Duck End followed and then along Footpaths 13 & 12 and then Bridleway 15 to emerge in Hooked Lane. Ivy Lane and Footpath 5 then took us back to Luton Road and refreshments were sought at the Woolpack.

The walk on Friday 12th July is planned to be around Henlow. Meet at Whitworth Way car park at 6.30pm.

The walk on Friday 16th August has yet to be planned and checked. Keep an eye out for posters on the village noticeboards.

All are welcome on these 4-5 mile walks and if you are coming along please wear stout shoes or walking shoes/boots.

Nigel Jacobs


Wilstead Endowed Charities

Tea Party

It is hoped to revert to a New Year's Tea Party next January.

Nearer the time there will be cut-out slips in the Newsletter to fill in if you would like to come to the Tea Party for the older (60+) residents of the village and if you would like a lift.

All the Trustees have to do now is to organise the entertainment, sort out the food with help from volunteers, (for which we are extremely grateful) and organise the famous Tea Party Raffle!!

Look out for the Tea Party date in future Newsletters.

Nigel Jacobs

Wilshamstead Endowed Charities

All Saints Church

United in Faith Welcoming All

The services have been planned for July and are as follows:

Sunday 7th July - 11.00am - Morning Praise

Mr R Heley

Sunday  14th July - 11.00 am - Holy Communion

Fr Paul Messam

Sunday  21st July - 11.00am - Morning Praise

Mr J Hinson

Sunday  28th July - 11.00 am - Holy Communion  

Rev Jennie Cappleman

Sunday  4th  August - 11.00 am - Holy Communion

Rev Steve Marsh

There will be a Coffee Morning on Wednesday 17th July. This will be in Viv Riddles garden, 73 Whitworth Way from 10.30 onwards .

Due to circumstances beyond our control we are unable to use the Chapter House  and the Summer Fair has been postponed for the moment. We may arrange something in September. Watch this space.

Robert Heley

Ramblers North Bedfordshire

Come and join us for a walk.  We walk every Saturday afternoon approximately 6 miles and Saturdays twice a month in morning for approximately 12 miles.

July Walks

Saturday 6th July pm Blunham, 6.6 miles

Saturday 13th July am Wootton 12 miles,

or pm Marston Vale Forest Centre 6 miles,

Saturday 20th July pm Harlington 7 miles

Saturday 27th July am Woburn 6 miles or pm Woburn 6 miles  or all day 12 miles

Contact; Margaret Sawyer 07780933729

Facebook; North Beds Ramblers


Wilstead Netball

Congratulations to Wilstead Warriors who played in a netball final at the University of Bedfordshire on Wednesday 12th June.

Wilstead Warriors competed in the Joy Campion Trophy beating BCNC Quartz 5 – 3 in quarters.

This was a very exciting match and kept us all on the edge of our seats. The girls all worked so hard over the season to make it to the final, huge congratulations to everyone who participated.

Our Wilstead team was Charlotte Tait, Emily Mann, Amelia Riddle, Sophie Watt, Freya Norris, Amber O'Driscoll, Lily Pigram and player of the match Addie White

Congratulations Girls

Wilstead Pre School News

As I write this we are a few days before the summer feté brought to you by our Pre School and Wilstead Primary School. As I write this article the weather looks good for the day and the preparations are going well.

I'm hoping the day will be a huge success and attended by families and friends of the village and wider community.

I would like to thank the PTA and, particularly Asan, for all their hard work in the build-up to the feté. These fundraisers take a lot of preparation and effort so I hope all the hard work has paid off.

We will find out when I update you in the next edition!

In other Pre School news the last few weeks of the school year are always very busy as we prepare to say goodbye to our school leavers and lots of visits from our new children starting in September.

We welcomed lots of dads for our Father's Day afternoon where they decorated picture frames with their children and enjoyed a slice of cake.

Sports day was a huge success and attended by many families which was wonderful to see. The children were magnificent in their sporting efforts! I think there's a few budding athletes among them !

Dates for your diaries

Our next quiz night Friday 18th October.

Christmas bazaar. Sunday 1st December 12-3.

As ever I would like to thank everyone from parents to villagers to the wider community who continue to support our charity run Pre School.

Thank you to our committee for your support and donations.

You all come up trumps for every occasion. Thank you !

Wildlife Trust for Beds, Cambs & Northants

Flit Vale Local Group

Wildlife Walks & Talks

July & August

Saturday 27th July, Nation Trust car park (LU6 2GY), 10.00am

Butterfly Walk at Whipsnade Downs with Dr Wilf Powell

This site is a wonderful area for butterflies. We hope to see several species and will also look for other invertebrates as well as birds and wildflowers. Park in the National Trust car park and meet by the entrance to the Visitor Centre. There is a parking fee of £3.50 but if you are a National Trust member bring your card along to register for free parking. There are toilets and a café on site.

£4.00 per adult.

Saturday 3rd August, Jack Crawley Barn, Brook Lane, Flitton, 10.00am

Dragonflies and Damselflies with John Curd

Come along to this lovely reserve and join John as he shares his expertise and enthusiasm for these charismatic creatures. We hope to see several species this morning.

£4.00 per adult

Booking for outdoor Flit Vale events is essential, as places are limited.

Please contact Ann by email: flitvale.info@gmail.com or phone (leave a message or text if you prefer) 075801 78889 to reserve your place.

Wilstead & Wixams Community Art Group

As an Art Group we meet just to enjoy painting or drawing together with others. It has a strong social element and those who come usually go away happier than when they came! If you're interested in art and would love to try out your talent, why not join us? To make it clearer, we do not have a resident art teacher but from time to time we may invite a guest artist. Our members are always glad to advise where they can and to encourage you in whatever medium you choose to use. You need to bring your own materials, but we can provide some equipment, easels and paints etc. Your first session is free and, if you decide to continue and become a member, it will be £3 a session when you're able to come. We usually meet in the Village Hall on Mondays from 2pm-4pm. We don't meet on Bank Holidays. Our group has members of all abilities, using a variety of mediums. You might like sketching in pencil, charcoal, pen and ink, whatever. You can also paint in watercolour, acrylic or even oil or in a mixed media. Do whatever you like. We'd love you join us. We are planning an Art Exhibition on Saturday 21st September in the Village Hall to display what we do and the talents we have. It will be free, and you are very welcome to come along.

Enquiries: Michael Bradley: Mobile 07526 939164.

Email: revmichael14@outlook.com