HRH The Princess Royal visits the Forest of Marston Vale
HRH The Princess Royal visited the Forest Centre & Millennium Country Park on 30th July to dedicate the Forest of Marston Vale to the The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy.
HRH The Princess Royal planted a tree to commemorate the Forest’s accreditation to the project, and unveiled a plaque in the Charity’s new Forest Shelter. Her Royal Highness was accompanied on the visit by Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire Colonel Chris Sharwood-Smith MBE and during the tour of the Park, The Princess met members of the Forest Team, Volunteers, and local school children.
The Forest joins the ranks of only three other accredited forests in the UK – the National Forest, Epping Forest and Wentwood, in Wales.
Speaking after the visit, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire Helen Nellis said “We are extremely proud of The Forest of Marston Vale and the huge impact it makes on our environment and the quality of our community life in Bedfordshire. It is a great privilege to welcome HRH The Princess Royal to visit this wonderful project and for her to dedicate the Forest of Marston as part of the Queens Commonwealth Canopy"
Grant Sorrell, Director at the Forest of Marston Vale said "Today's visit was a huge honour and fantastic recognition of everything the Charity's staff and volunteers put into creating the Forest. I hope everyone living in the region will take pride in their Community Forest becoming part of an international initiative which recognises the importance of trees and forests to all our futures".
The Forest of Marston Vale (Registered Charity No. 1069229) covers the 61 square mile area between Bedford and Milton Keynes and has planted over 1.5 million trees to date, taking tree cover from 3% (the lowest in Europe) to over 15%. Their aim is to plant another 5 million trees, creating a greener heart of Bedfordshire.
Photo Credit: June Essex