National charity, Trees for Streets, has seen 200 new trees planted in Bedford Borough over the last two years, and they’re encouraging even more residents to submit sponsorship requests in time for winter planting.
The project has brought together residents, local businesses and Bedford Borough Council, to make 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 in Bedford have used the interactive map on the Trees for Streets website to pick locations where they would 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 costs £275 to sponsor a tree on your street (£375 if you want the council to be responsible for watering it) and £375 to sponsor a tree in a 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. Many residents have also taken on the job of watering their sponsored trees – something that is reflected in the cost.
“This is a huge help and also a rewarding activity, as it can offer opportunities for neighbours to get to know each other and feel more connected to their communities,” said Trees for Streets.
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 ‘celebration trees’.
Tom sponsored a tree outside his house after another one had to be removed.
“Trees make such a difference to how your street looks,” he said.
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.
One local hero funded a whopping 27 trees over the past two years to transform their entire street.
Get a tree planted this winter
If you would like to get involved in greening a local street in Bedford, maybe outside your house, your children’s school or along a local high street, you can find out more at the Trees for Streets website here.
Sponsorship requests must be made by the end of November in order for trees to be planted this winter.