11 July 2022
Share this story

We visited Bedford at the end of May, and found tree sponsor, Nicola, working out in her front garden when we arrived. Just one great way to enjoy nature!

A family connection

Nicola was so excited when she first saw our leaflet about the Trees for Streets scheme last Autumn. She told her daughter about it, asking ‘Have you heard of this?!’. Her daughter responded that of course she had, as she works for Trees for Cities, the national charity that runs our scheme – what a small world it is!

Nicola went to the Trees for Streets website, where she put in a request to sponsor a tree immediately outside her house. After the local council surveyed the proposed location, the tree was given the go-ahead and planted in November 2021.

Working with local councils

Our charity promotes the scheme in each local authority area where we operate, and it’s the local council that actually plants and maintains the tree. In this instance, we partnered with Bedford Borough Council.

We collect donations from residents to cover all costs, including the tree itself, stakes, ties and watering bag, the planting, and often the watering too. In some cases, new pits have to be created in the pavement, which actually cost more than the tree itself. Even watering the tree for 2 years will cost more than the tree itself!

A deeply meaningful tree

Nicola was inspired to sponsor a tree because there used to be one on the verge outside her house, but it has long gone. Her parents sadly passed away recently, and she wanted to plant a new tree as a permanent tribute to them.

When the tree arrived, it’s safe to say that Nicola was impressed with its size! It measured about 4 metres high and was already 7 years old, creating an instant impact on the street.

The council planted a Silver Birch, which carries special significance for Nicola, as it was a tree that reminded her of family holidays.

Her father used to be the Landscaping Officer for the council, dealing with the tree selection in some of Bedford’s country parks.

Some of these parks actually cover areas dug out for bricks for London, but now comprise lakes and wooded landscaped areas. 

So trees have always had a very prominent role in Nicola’s family life, and now with her daughter working for a national tree charity, they become even more meaningful.

Trees To celebratE life

Trees planted through this scheme often have special meaning for the sponsor – we have a lot of sponsors who have wanted trees planted to celebrate a birth or an anniversary. We offer a Celebration Tree scheme which lets people sponsor trees in local parks for special occasions and life events for this reason.

Bedford has some stunning parks, and when local people sponsor trees in them for any reason, it helps to keep the parks green and lovely for everyone to enjoy for generations.

Join Nicola

If like Nicola, you’d like to fill a space outside your home with a lovely tree then simply search our app for your local council – if they’re working with us you too can request a tree to be planted.