You know when you see an event popped up on Facebook that you really want to go to but you know you probably can’t go so you bookmarked it as “Interested” instead of “Going” – just in case, (or am I the only one! lol!). Well, this was one of the event that I did have my reservation for. Why? Two reasons: 1) My O.H. is probably working on that day anyway, as he is the designated driver – we just don’t have other mean to get there; 2) The weather seem to be not very welcoming at all. It was predicted with some showers and some hail stones even.
When the day arrived, I actually have forgotten all about it and Facebook has reminded me again that morning. At the same time, by some miracle, my O.H. also had a day of work! Hoorah! So I whispered in his sleepy ears – “Let’s go and do some tree planting with the kids.” He nodded in his sleep, and I slipped away with a big smile. I was so excited!
The event started off at 11am but we decided to go after lunch to avoid lunch picnicking in the rain. After the lunch the sky seem to have lessen to a pit-a-patter level on and off. It didn’t seem that bad and we made sure to wear warm thick clothing for the occasion.
It took us just under 40 minutes drive to get there. The plantation field was situated opposite Cranfield Airport. The sky didn’t seem to be too promising again, but we all marched in with excitement. We were aiming to plant four trees – one for each person.
The event was well organised. There were off street parking and the walked into the field was welcome by very friendly stewards in bright luminous yellow jackets. They told us to follow the path until we meet another bright luminous yellow jackets friendly steward who will give us a demonstration of how to plant a tree.
Looking around my surroundings, the plantation was busy on that day but not overwhelmed. The organisation has just got it right. There were enough trees for everyone, there were enough nets protector tubes for every trees, there were enough shovels big and small for adults and kids – if not then the stewards would gather them up and bring it back to the centre, where we can take them to do our tree planting. There were many friendly family participating and were happy to help out too.
I did worried about not having a tree there, I thought I needed to buy before we arrived. So I enquired them about this on their Facebook event page. Their responds was fast and ensured me that there were enough trees for everyone. Though the trees were free on the day, there are stewards with buckets collecting donations or you can make donations through their website.
After the demonstration, we all chose our shovels and find some wooden stakes that haven’t been netted yet – these were the ones that have not been planted. Soon we found some that are close to each other. As predicted everyones want to dig up their own, but soon found out that this was a team work project. My O.H. dug the hole. Evelyn got the tree, the net protector tube and the hammock. Evelyn was being a super star and helped out a little here and there – with the digging, holding the stakes, hammering, stumping the soil back into the hole, and helped holding the tree whilst my O.H. put the net protector on to the tree.
Ethan, on the other hand, was being a little less co-operating. He just wanted to do his own thing for his tree. Of course, he soon found he needed help with the digging, etc. and so I stepped in. His mood got a little lighter when we dug up a few wriggly worms. They had such a laugh.
My O.H. and I also helped Evelyn with planting her tree as well. By this time, the cold wind was picking up fast and strong, and our hands were starting to get rather colder by the mintues. We decided to stop there. We didn’t want E&E to catch another cold.
On the way back, we reported to the main tent and they took a photography of us holding a sign of how many trees we have planted. Even though we didn’t accomplished four trees as aimed, we were happy with just three. Then I over heard a conversation of a group ahead of us, who were in their early twenties said that between 7 of them – they’ve planted 70 tress since 11am! Wow! I think we need take it up a notch next time!
The people of Forest of Marston Vale then email us the below photo within days after, reporting 5,000 trees were planted alone on that day!
On our way out, the entrance pitch also has two food trailers standing. One was hot food and the other was a coffee house. Even though, we only planted three trees we felt that we had made a small contribution to the world and so deservingly some chips to warm us up on our way home.
In the car, I asked Ethan what has he learned on the day. He gave me this statement:
We helped to plant trees. Trees gives us oxygen. Oxygen help us breath and without trees we will died. - Ethan (6 years old) @forest_centre #PublicTreePlanting #TreePlanting #Bedford #MiltonKeynes Click To Tweet
Okay, a bit strong but I can’t really argue with that statement.
About Forest of Marston Vale.
It is a charity run organisation fundraising to create 61 sq miles of forest between Milton Keynes and Bedford, a community forest and the Forest of Marston Vale was born.
In the early 1990s the tree cover was so low at only 3%, as the area was previously home to the massive Stewartby Brickworks and a number of landfill sites.
Today, the Forest of Marston Vale is has helped to up that figure to 30% tree cover. The area has transformed to be thriving place to live, work and play. Last year, they have achieved another 15%, but they still have a long way to go. There’s another 5 million trees to plant, and they need your help!
Ways to help!
The Forest used to rely on funding but now it is almost entirely on donations from the public, and their sales at the cafe at the Forest Centre & Millennium Country Park. All money spent goes towards making that 5 million trees a reality.
The Marston Vale Trust is the registered charity (No. 1069229) responsible for the creation of the Forest. You can help them raise funds by using their Forest Centre for the occasional cup of tea, or even host your wedding, and everything in between.
Love Your Forest
If you’d like to hear more about what Forest of Marston Vale are doing in the Forest of Marston Vale or at the Forest Centre then you can find out more about it on their website here.
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*This is not a sponsored post. We really enjoyed our time there and really want to spread the words out for them.