About us Our Impact WHAT THE CHARITY HAS ACHIEVED SO FAR We’ve been planting trees since the early 1990s but we hadn’t really taken stock of what that meant for the local area, in detail, until we commissioned a Progress and Impacts study looking at the social, economic and environmental benefits of the Forest and the impact its creation has had on the local area. Everything from improving air quality, to creating jobs and boosting the local economy. Every single tree makes a difference, and we’ve planted over 2 million so far, so as you can imagine – the study showed that we’ve had a huge impact. THE STUDY PROGRESS AND IMPACTS STUDY SUMMARY (2018) PROGRESS AND IMPACTS STUDY FULL (2017) The study was put together with the support of our partners Bedford Borough Council, Central Bedfordshire Council, Natural England and the Forestry Commission. The full document is a fairly long read , but the summary document highlights the key things we’ve achieved so far – from increasing tree cover to 15.4%, to saving the NHS a staggering £4.95m a year. We’re patting ourselves on the back a bit here, but we think it’s deserved! Tree Planting Every year we host a public tree planting – this year we nearly didn’t have a site in time so we ran our Plant One On Us campaign, where people collected trees from us and planted them at home. Overall the public planted nearly 4500 trees this winter, either at home or at our new site in Wilstead. We also planted a lot of trees with our Corporate Friends - you can check out the list here. Every year we’re engaging with local communities and businesses about the benefits of trees and (most impressively) actually getting hundreds of people hyped up enough to brave the freezing weather to plant some – we’re really proud that after all these years we’ve still got it! Take part in Plant One On Us Trees for Learning As part of the DEFRA Trees for Learning project, the government have set a target for 1 million trees to be planted by 1 million school children by 2020 – we’ve been involved since 2017 and have worked with nearly 2000 kids to plant 7800 trees on their school grounds. Learn more here Community Fund Our wind turbine at the Millennium Country Park is more than just a way of generating energy - the company that built it originally agreed to contribute £10,000 to local causes for the next 25 years, as selected by a panel which we sit on. That's obviously £250,000 going back into community groups and projects which otherwise might not have got off the ground. Apply for your group/project here Changing Lives The Forest has touched a lot of people - it's not only benefited the people who live and visit the woodlands which we've planted, but it's given people volunteering opportunities which have changed their lives. Read their stories here For more information about any of the work we do, send us an email or call us for a chat.