Over the past couple of years 200 new trees have been planted in Bedford through the national charity initiative, Trees for Streets. The project has brought together residents, local businesses and Bedford Borough Council, to make our streets greener, healthier and happier places to live. By sponsoring trees, Bedford locals have been able to help get trees in the ground.
Green my street
Residents and businesses have used the interactive map on the Trees for Streets website to pick locations where they’d like to see a new street tree planted. Many residents have asked to fill gaps outside their houses or elsewhere on their streets; some opt to sponsor a tree in their favourite park.
It’s a very simple process – once the request is received, Bedford Borough Council conducts a survey to make sure there are no obstructions such as cables, pipes or utility covers. If all is ok, the sponsor’s donation is accepted and that coming winter the council’s contractor is instructed to plant a new street tree at the approved location.
The single most expensive cost involved in planting and establishing a new tree is often the watering. It’s fantastic that so many residents have also taken on the job of watering their sponsored trees. This is a huge help and also a very rewarding activity, as it can offer opportunities for neighbours to get to know each other and feel more connected to their communities.
The Trees for Streets team met some of the wonderful local sponsors to catch up with them now that their tree is planted.
Roger sponsored a tree outside the home that he and his wife shared, to honour her memory. He looks after it every day and can see it from his window. Roger is not the only resident to sponsor a tree as a tribute to a loved one; other residents have also planted what we like to call ‘celebration trees’.
Tom sponsored a tree outside his house, after another one had to be removed. He knew how much trees brighten up streets and make them more welcoming. ‘Trees make such a difference to how your street looks’, he said. He wanted a replacement as soon as possible, and was thrilled when he discovered that, through Trees for Streets, he could have a new tree planted that winter.
Other Bedford locals have sponsored trees in empty tree pits and grass verges. Diana filled the grass verges on her street with two trees; and Deryck sponsored a tree in a green space on his street, where his grandchildren play.
Whilst we have lots of individual trees being sponsored, some residents sponsor multiple trees. One local hero funded a whopping 27 trees over the past two years to transform their street. What an incredible gift to the neighbourhood.
Get a tree planted this winter
If you’d like to get involved in greening a local street in Bedford, maybe outside your house, your children’s school or along a local highstreet, visit treesforstreets.org/bedford today. Sponsorship requests must be made by the end of November in order for trees to be planted this winter.