Over the past two years, Bedford Borough Council, in collaboration with the national charity initiative Trees for Streets, has successfully planted over 200 new trees on streets in Bedford Borough.
This transformative project has seen active participation from local residents, businesses, and the council, aiming to create greener, healthier, and happier living spaces for everyone.
The initiative, coordinated through the Trees for Streets programme, has allowed residents and businesses in Bedford Borough to sponsor trees, actively engaging them in the process of making their streets more vibrant. By using the interactive map on the Trees for Streets website, people can choose locations for new street trees, ranging from residential areas to the wonderful local parks. The next step is a survey by Bedford Borough Council to ensure feasibility, and upon approval, the sponsored tree is planted the following winter by the council’s contractor.
One of the most heartening aspects of this initiative has been the enthusiastic involvement of residents who have taken on the responsibility of watering their sponsored trees. Their dedication not only aids in the tree’s establishment but also fosters a sense of community, allowing neighbours to enhance their surroundings together.
Jim Weir, Portfolio Holder for Environment, Highways and Transport at Bedford Borough Council, expressed his appreciation for the initiative.
He said: “Trees for Streets exemplifies the power of community collaboration.
“We have witnessed touching stories of residents honouring loved ones through sponsored trees and neighbours coming together to enhance the beauty of their surroundings. These acts not only green our streets but also nurture a strong sense of belonging within our communities.”
The initiative has showcased several local heroes, with some individuals sponsoring multiple trees, and the transformation of entire streets. The programme has touched the lives of residents like Roger, who planted a tree in memory of his late wife, and Tom, who replaced a lost tree to continue to make his street welcoming.
Discover tree trails, volunteer tree planting opportunities, and local projects, along with information on Tree Protection Orders and how to report an issue with a tree you feel may be dangerous through the website: www.bedford.gov.uk/trees
Residents and businesses interested in Trees for Streets are encouraged to visit www.treesforstreets.org/bedford by the end of November to find out more and submit their sponsorship requests.