What's going on News Local Charities Day Some unsung heroes This Friday (14th December) is Local Charities Day – a nationwide celebration of all of the small charities in your local area, many that you never knew existed! Who are we The Forest of Marston Vale is a community forest – across the 61 square mile area between Bedford and Milton Keynes we have 11 woodland sites, all used by thousands of people in local communities, and all entirely funded by our charity. The problem is we don’t have the resources to shout about what we do so we quite often get confused with the council, by many people. But we’ve cracked on nevertheless, and planted over 1.5 million trees, with another 5 million to go… Without huge marketing budgets, or nationally recognised brands, we think we, and all other small charities, deserve a huge pat on the back for the work we’ve achieved. The national campaign is looking for people to pledge their time to volunteer for local charities and they’ve even put together an interactive map so you can see what’s going on in your local area. Helping habitats We are looking for something slightly different – we already have a huge group of volunteers who help us out across the board, and while we’re always looking for new people to join in, we are actually looking more for support of our new habitat sponsorship programme. You can sponsor an area of reedbed, woodland, grassland, hedgerow or lakes and ponds for just £10 – it’s a great stocking filler, it’s a lovely alternative to unnecessary Christmas cards, and more than anything, it’s a great way to support local wildlife, and your local community forest. Local charities are amazing things and they need your support to keep doing the work they do – life wouldn’t be the same without them, for millions of people and animals across the UK. So whether you support us, or pledge your time to another charity, make sure you spread the word this Friday! Click here for more information about Local Charities Day and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and make sure you use #LocalCharitiesDay when you mention us (or anyone else) on social media on the day. If you would like to pledge some time to volunteer with us – great! Send us an email or call Jo on 01234 762608 and we can get you in for a chat.