John Niles memorial woodland & local tree/shrub propagation (Beds)
Nearest town or settlement: Cranfield
Contact detailsContact name: Colin Carpenter
Organisation: The Community Tree Trust Ltd
Tel: 07751 356094
Website: The Community Tree Trust
A new wood is being created next to Marston Thrift, an ancient woodland and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in the Forest of Marston Vale, to commemorate John Niles, the former County Forester and wildlife enthusiast who died in 2003.
Tree and shrub seeds were collected from Marston Thrift for broadcasting over an area of 2.58 hectares. Acorns were planted by hand. 92 children and 12 teachers from five schools took part, alongside volunteers with learning difficulties from Dunstable College and their supervisors, and staff from Bedfordshire Wildlife Trust. The Forest of Marston Vale will manage the area and monitor seed germination.
The Community Tree Trust specialises in collecting local provenance and native seed of trees, shrubs and wild flowers from ancient woodlands throughout Bedfordshire. The seed is weighed and processed and grown on at the Community Tree Nursery for about 2 to 3 years before being sold and replanted back into the Bedfordshire Countryside to restore and plant ancient hedgerows and create new woodlands. Colin Carpenter, who works as a consultant for the Trust, regularly organises training and demonstration days as part of Flora locale's annual Training Programme.