Public Tree Planting
Public Tree Planting at Octagon
Last winter more than two hundred people
joined the Mayor of Bedford and the Marston Vale Trust team to
begin planting a new wood in Bedford River Valley Park. Ten
thousand trees were planted to create the first part of Octagon
Wood and on Sunday 12th February there will be another chance to
enjoy this very special experience. The team will be there again,
welcoming all-comers to help create this ten hectare piece of the
River Valley Park.
Octagon Wood is a collaboration between
Bedford Borough Council and the Marston Vale Trust, the charity
creating the Forest of Marston Vale. As part of the shared vision
for creating the River Valley Park, the Council is providing the
land; the Trust is raising the money and managing the project.
A successful partnership
“This is a great example of the Council
working in partnership to make things happen and improve the
Bedford area” said Mayor Dave Hodgson. “We’ve got the land and the
Marston Vale team has the right people with the right track record.
I’m very much looking forward to getting out there with my spade
again and hope that lots of people will join us.” The Mayor will
officially open the wood at midday.
James Russell, Forest Director with the
Marston Vale Trust added “It will be great to see the final trees
go into the ground at Octagon Wood. The ten thousand trees and
shrubs planted last year caused us a few worries given that 2011
was the driest spring in fifty years. In the end they did well.
We’re delighted to be planting more trees this year and again
working with the Borough Council to create another bit of Bedford
River Valley Park.” The trees have been carefully chosen to
suit the low-lying and sometimes wet land. They are all native,
broad-leaved species such as ash, alder, downy birch and willow,
all of which will be able to grow well there.
If you’ve never planted a tree before, it
might sound like hard work. It’s not! Virtually all of the million
plus trees planted in the Forest over the past twenty years went
into the ground whilst still very small. That way they grow quickly
and very few die, they need a small hole, so planting’s quick and
pretty easy. And if that still sounds like an ordeal, there will be
plenty of Volunteers to help.
Free buses all day
A free bus service will run to the planting
site from the Forest Centre at Marston Moretaine (departing every
half hour between 10.30 and 14.00), also picking up at Elstow Park
& Ride (every half hour between 10.45 and 14.15). Full details
Please don’t drive to the site – there is no
parking there. Come when you like, stay for as long as you like and
plant as many trees as you like. When you arrive you’ll be provided
with everything you need – trees, tools and a toilet. Then when
you’ve planted all the trees you wish, enjoy free tea, coffee and
biscuits. There will also be other refreshments on sale. The only
things you need to bring are warm clothes, waterproof shoes and a
great wedge of enthusiasm.
Ride with a guide
Octagon Wood lies astride Route 51 of the
National Cycle Network, so the new planting will add an extra
experience to the ride from Milton Keynes to Sandy. For the less
ambitious, it’s just over a mile from Priory Country Park
along National Cycle Network Route 51, a maximum of twenty minutes.
It’s surfaced, traffic-free and well signed. Join a guide at
10.45am, leaving Priory Visitor Centre to enjoy a ride to Octagon
Wood. Riding in a group’s fun and you’re sure not to get lost!
Make your mark
Planting trees gives you the chance to make
your mark on the creation of Bedford River Valley Park, an
ambitious project that will see around 3½ square miles of
accessible greenspace created, to the east of Bedford over the next
decade and beyond. Octagon Wood will be open to the public all the
time in the future, so you will be welcome to come back in years to
come and watch the wood grow.
For further information, please visit
www.marstonvale.org/news or call 01234 767037 or email