International Day of Charity

Since 2012, September 5th has been officially recognised as the International Day of Charity by the UN, inspired by a national version in Hungary in honour of the passing of Mother Theresa.

It goes without saying that supporting charities is a good thing to do – whether it’s regularly, or just for this one day. Whatever your passion, there will be a charity out there that tugs on your heart strings – the problem we have is that lots of people don’t know that the Forest Centre & Millennium Country Park (or any of our other sites) are run by a charity.

We are a charity

The Forest of Marston Vale isn’t owned by the council, or supported by government money. It was setup to rejuvenate an area that was left pretty grim by the brickworks, and although we’ve done a great job so far we still have so much to do, and with increasing developments in the area we have to work harder than ever to make sure that everyone is doing their bit towards 30% tree cover.

We’ve already planted 1.5 million trees across our sites – you’ve probably been to some of them without realising if you live locally (we’re working on rolling out better signage over the next few years). The benches and fences that we build and maintain, the pathways and grass areas that we mow and keep tidy, the litter (and dog poo) that we pick up, the tracks that we surface, the trees we plant and manage, the habitats we create – all of this is looked after by fundraising through our charity. Very occasionally, we get grants for certain projects but generally it’s all done through donations from the public and the support of our amazing volunteers.

Marston Vale landfill site, contrasted with the countryside now

The Forest of Marston Vale - before and after we started planting trees.

Spread the word

This is a plea – not necessarily for money – but for you to spread the word that we are a charity. The more people that know that they are walking their dog or having a picnic on land owned by a charity, perhaps the less dog poo or litter will be left. If local kids grow up knowing that the bird hides at the Millennium Country Park are maintained by a charity, perhaps they won’t set them on fire/vandalise them so regularly. Thanks to the ripple effect, if everyone told one person, then we’d get a lot closer to our goal of planting another 5 million trees.

So on International Charity Day, whatever you do, or however much money you give (we’ll forgive you for supporting other charities, just this once) – remember that all we want is for you to tell people that we are a charity, who plants trees, and it’s really that simple.

Share to spread the word

Share this post on social media today to let your friends know the good work we are doing in the local area - many of them probably live near our sites and don't know, or didn't realise we were a charity (Ripple effect, remember!)

If you're feeling generous then you can also donate below, do a bit of fundraising for us, or even join as a volunteer and get physically involved. We appreciate all the support we get - however big or small your contribution, you'll be a part of the future of the Forest of Marston Vale. 

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