Monday, February 23, 2009
BEDFORDSHIRE'S BARREN LANDSCAPE HAS BEEN TRANSFORMED WITH 1 MILLION TREES
Yesterday I mentioned the work of the Forest of Marston Vale:
"Our challenge is to use trees and woodlands to transform 61 square miles between Bedford and Milton Keynes, repairing a landscape scarred by decades of clay extraction, brickmaking and landfill. We have already planted 1 million trees and by 2030 we will plant 5 million more, working with local communities, government and businesses to create new woods and other wild places for everyone to enjoy"
In 2002 the Marston Vale Trust bought Rectory Wood, 173 acres of arable farmland between Cranfield and the ancient woodland of Marston Thrift and has been planting thousands of trees there in several phases. Phase 4 is Legacy Thrift, named by Bedfordshire County Council who have financed the planting of 24,000 trees to commemorate 120 years of the Council's work 1889-2009.
Today I received this comment from a reader, Mrs Valerie Seymour:
"Dear Cllr Faulkner, thank you for this blog. As a Bedfordshire Conservation Volunteer myself, I was delighted to hear about the planting of all these new trees in the Marston Vale. I have been there many times with my family and we are delighted to have such a fantastic project on our doorsteps! Bedfordshire should be so proud of it!
However I am concerned that Bedford Borough Council opposed the planting of these trees. Is this correct? I have read that the Mayor was completely opposed to these legacy initiatives, including the planting of 20,000 trees in the Marston.
Under the new Unitary authority for Bedford Borough, will all the good work of the County in supporting the Marston Vale have been in vain? Please do all you can to ensure that Bedford lifts its eyes and supports this great initiative! Thank you for all your support in this area so far too." "
Sadly the Mayor of Bedford and the local media constantly criticise the County Council but have failed to appreciate the benefits of this important tree project. The Labour Government has forced us to accept 20,000 new houses in the Marston area, although local residents campaigned successfully to stop the proposed Eco town. Our 24,000 trees will now provide much needed green space and new wildlife habitats for local residents to enjoy.
You have my personal assurance that as a Borough Councillor, and hopefully after 4th June as a Unitary Councillor in Bedford Borough I will continue to support the excellent work of the Forest of Marston Vale in planting 4 million more trees.