Bedford Borough Provider Spotlight

Every month we will be shining a spotlight on two of our Cultural Providers working across Bedford Borough, showcasing the local creative talent already working with schools and young people right on our doorstep.

Warden Abbey Community Vineyard

Did you know that just outside Bedford we have a local vineyard, first established by medieval monks?! Nestled between the picturesque villages of Old Warden and Cardington, vines were first planted on this beautiful Bedfordshire field in medieval times by monks at the Cistercian Abbey of Warden. Centuries later, the Whitbread family re-planted the monks’ “Lyttel Vineyard” in 1986, and went on to produce award-winning wines right up to their last vintage in 2008.

Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity now lease the vineyard in an ambitious project to provide a unique community and educational resource and can offer schools some truly unique activities including the opportunity to explore what life would have been like in the Abbey, the herbs the monks would have grown and why, learning how to make “tussie mussies” (a posy of flowers and herbs used in medieval times to hide horrible smells!) and also exploring illustrated letters and calligraphy.


Bedford-based Lisa Tilley runs Uoldbag! and enjoys working with schools to teach a variety of workshops including decoupage, up-cycling, weaving, embroidery and print techniques including mono, screen, heat transfer and ceramic transfer printing. She can also provide sessions on knitting, felt making, and mixed media drawing, to name a few!

As a local designer/maker who sells her works worldwide, Lisa also boasts experience with current craft, fashion and art affairs. This often aids her in teaching projects such as the Arts Award where student projects have taken the shape of a small business and they have taken a product they have made through to exhibiting and selling it both in a physical and online space.

For details of all our other Cultural Providers, do take a look at our Directory.