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Forest of Marston Vale

The Forest of Marston Vale (FoMV) is one of 12 Community Forests in England, designated by Government. The Marston Vale was chosen, as it been previously blighted by decades of clay extraction, brick making and the subsequent landfill, of old clay pits.

The Government target is to increase woodland cover from an historic low of around 3%, to 30% by 2031; working with local communities, schools and businesses, to create new publicly accessible woodland. Through environmentally led regeneration, our aim is to transform the landscape and the perception of the area, making it somewhere people want to live, work and enjoy their leisure time. Our aim is to use trees to increase the environmental quality of landscapes, and therefore stimulate economic and social regeneration. Forest cover originally was only 3.6%, but by 2015 it was measured at 15.38%.

 

The Forest of Marston Vale Trust was formed in 1997 as an independent environmental charity and social enterprise, to deliver the creation of the Forest of Marston Vale. The Charity’s objects are-

  • the improvement protection and preservation of Marston Vale in Bedfordshire for the better development of the rural environment; and

  • the provision of public recreational and other facilities in Marston Vale to members of the public.

 

As a charity, the Trust has a ‘Forest Plan’, to deliver social, economic and social improvement; key to which is the planting of trees and sustainable woodland management. It does this by brokering partnerships with the public, private sectors and charitable organisations.

 

The publicly accessible areas are intended to be working woodlands and therefore viable areas of enterprise. To date through thinning of its woodland’s, the Trust has created a firewood business, supplying to the local market and has been successful in gaining planning permission for a woodland burial site.