The main focus of the SLAE campaign is to save our beautiful local amenity park, and we felt it the right time of year to reintroduce the readers of this website to that verdant established wild park.
Wigmore Valley Park (WVP) is a 325 hectare District Park. It hosts a Bedfordshire County Wildlife site and is an Area of Local Landscape Value. Two of the neighbouring Hertfordshire Parish Councils have it listed with Luton Borough Council (LBC) as an Asset of Community Value. In 2019, in a poll by Fields in Trust, the park was an East of England Regional Finalist – the only Bedfordshire Park to achieve this.
We feel it merits a Green Flag Award, and indeed investigation for possible designation as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. It hosts four of the UK’s native orchid species, and a wide variety of other flora and fauna. The park sits on the largest ex Municipal waste site for Luton. It was in use from the 1930’s to the late 1980’s, then capped and laid back to nature.
Since then it has developed into a haven for wildlife and people alike providing somewhere to go and just enjoy the beauty of nature. WVP is now threatened by the very Council that created it. Expansion plans by LBC’S 100% owned airport company, London Luton Airport Ltd, are for an unnecessary business park and huge access road and then the site for Terminal 2.
The business development is called ‘New Century Park’, as the original Century Park was planned to sit on land to the south east of WVP which would have been accessed by a road tunnel through the airport central complex, but due to cost the proposal was abandoned. So local residents on the northern/eastern airport boundaries will bear the brunt instead.
Since the business park was given outline permission in spring 2019 no updated wildlife surveys have taken place. With this in mind, we at Friends of Wigmore Park would like to invite those who follow this website, and our Facebook groups, to visit the park (once we are given our new levels of freedom in the next few months) and do an Audit of all they see.
Our Facebook group will list various birds/animals/insects/trees and bushes to look for, so any records you make would be very useful to build our picture. You can e-mail us any records you have via the contact button.
For a flavour of what you can find in the park, visit Wigmore Valley Park – 2020 in Pictures , here on our web site