News from the Forest of Marston Vale – No 68 autumn/winter 2015/16
A warm welcome to the winter edition of Commentree, the Forest of Marston Vale Trust’s regular newsletter. This one’s a bit different from usual as it contains reports from our Chief Executive and Chairman as well as financial highlights from the Trust’s annual report. We hope you find this interesting and look forward to seeing you in the Forest in the months to come.
In this edition…
- Our Annual Report
- Tree planting news
- 21 years of the Forest
The Forest Team first appeared in a corner of Wootton Library in 1991, to begin the job of creating a 61 square mile Community Forest. Since that time, enormous progress has been made. Whilst the once-famous brickworks are now part of history, well over a million trees have been planted, trebling tree cover in the area and helping to create more than 650 hectares of new woodland and open space. We think the Vale is looking and feeling great these days – and that’s quite a change.
The Forest of Marston Vale Trust, a registered charity, leads the creation of the Forest. It owns and manages the Forest Centre & Millennium Country Park as well as many other woodlands, all of which provide excellent facilities for human visitors and fantastic homes wildlife.
Whilst the Trust’s relationships with national and international organisations are vital, the Forest is for local people and we want everyone to feel that they can contribute and get something from it. Read on to find out how.
There are loads of ways for kids to get close to nature here at the Forest Centre – to meet a beast, learn something amazing and generally have a good time.
Last year our n¡rangers welcomed hundreds of school pupils to the Country Park, providing a mixture of learning and fun hopefully sending them all back to the classroom with a positive view (and perhaps a bit excited about nature)
Outside school tearm, holiday activities attract hundreds of children to join in the Country Park’s wilder corners, to meet, bugs and beasties, make models, paint things, hear stories and generally have a wonderful time. Look out for the next holiday programme on our website. Of course little of this wold be possible without the enthusiasm of Forest Volunteers.
Book your wedding
By holding your wedding or reception at the Forest Centre you will be supporting the creation of the Forest of Marston Vale.
With space for up to 65 seated and 250 evening guest, we have a choice of rooms to suit your special day, and ample, free parking. From as little as 400 € for room hire, you enjoy a striking venue in a 555 acre County Park, surrounded by a beautiful mix of woodland, grass meadows and lakes. It’s an idyllic natural setting for your wedding reception and provides a beautiful backdrop to your photographs. We will make your special day one to remember, our own dedicated wedding day organiser will help with all your requirements from the initial enquiry to the end of you wedding day. We are happy to discuss your budget and requirements to create the wedding you want.
To fund a forest
First set your timer to 1989 (cue wobbly screen effect), to see the government offering local authorities large amounts of money to regenerate countryside at the edge of towns in ‘Community Forests’. Twelve forests were created during the early 1990s, including the Forest of Marston Vale.
Now move on to 2015. The Forest Centre is an important visitor attraction and a vital source of money and having folded all the profits from the cafe, shop, wedding and room hire into the Trust and mixed carefully with generous dollops of enthusiasm, experience, volunteer help, private sector and lottery money, a Forest is coming into being.
This days, very little money is received from local or central government. We want that you feel proud of the Forest.