For us, for wildlife and for the planet...

Trees are amazing. They cool and clean our air, lock up carbon and slow the rate of climate change as well as housing and feeding countless species of wildlife. But they also help people. Studies frequently show that being around trees is beneficial to your mental and physical health – not only does spending time in nature reduce stress and increase your sense of well-being, but it also means you’re getting more exercise. Patients in hospitals with views of trees apparently even heal faster. You could call that the magic of trees!

People working in the woods

Helping local communities

The Kings Arms Project is based in Bedford, and helps homeless people get back into accommodation and work. Several times a year, they bring along a group to the Grange Estate for a Forestry Day - Pathways to Employment Course Co-ordinator Phillipa sent us some heart-warming feedback after their last visit:

As a team we frequently tell our course attendees that their past does not define their future. [Bringing] a group out to work in the forest enables us to work alongside people who spend much of their time in isolation or experiencing a sense of judgement or rejection. When working as a team to move heavy tree trunks or to keep a fire burning it doesn’t matter in that moment where they have come from, what addiction they are battling, how they see themselves or if perhaps they are experiencing mental health difficulties. In that moment, what matters is that they are relevant, needed for a task and part of a community…The physical activity and opportunity to work alongside each other has a positive impact on all of us… We all belonged.

(Find out more about their amazing work on their website)

Volunteer David meets Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire

Giving a sense of purpose

Volunteer David Wood started working with us back in 2005, and is a vital member of our team, helping on children’s events, conservation tasks, overseeing small mammal trapping and helping to look after the Sensory Garden. We asked how he feels about the Forest:

It saved my life. When my wife died I didn’t know what to do, so having this place gave me something to do. I brought my grandchildren here when they were younger for bike rides, which sparked their love for the outdoors, also changing their lives. They’re grown up now – but the eldest is now studying to be a field studies teacher, inspired by her time volunteering here when she was a young adult.

If you're interested in becoming a Volunteer like David, you can find out more by clicking here

These are just some of the stories of lives that have been changed by the 1.5 million trees we've been working to plant since the early 90s - there are many more to come...

Banner image by Rob Felton


Make time for trees

Get out and about in the Forest of Marston Vale - check out our other sites, and see which one's closest to you! If you're interested in helping out at our woodlands, why not become a volunteer

For more information on the Forest of Marston Vale, call 01234 767037 or email us.