RSPB The Lodge Nature Reserve
The headquarters of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. Explore peaceful woodlands, heaths, colourful gardens and the Iron Age hill fort on Galley Hill. The house and buildings are not open to the public, but there are waymarked paths and formal gardens. Woodpeckers, nuthatches, buzzards and woodland birds may be seen. Various events through the year include outdoor theatre and Big Wild Sleep Out. See website for other activities.
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About The area
At its most southern point, Bedfordshire is only 35 miles from London Waterloo, so there’s a good reason for the UK’s fifth busiest airport to be called London Luton Airport. The county is one of England’s smaller in terms of area, but more than makes up for it in terms of business HQs and visitor attractions. Among the most popular of these, and among the top attractions in the UK, is ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, founded in 1931, and now covering around 600 acres.
Along similar lines Woburn Safari Park opened more recently (in 1970) and is just over half the size. Fans of old flying machines or cars will enjoy a visit to the Shuttleworth Collection at Old Warden, a tiny village near Biggleswade. Among the oldest examples in the collection are a pioneering French Blériot XI from 1910, and a number of early French and German automobiles from the very late 19th century.
Bedford itself is located on either side of the River Ouse, and has a large Italian population, descended from those who came to work at a local brick factory in the 1950s.
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