Creating the Forest of Marston Vale offers unprecedented opportunities for the positive transformation of the industrially-scarred landscape of the Marston Vale, an area of 61 square miles between Bedford and Milton Keynes. Whilst the headline target for creating the Forest of Marston Vale is to achieve 30% tree cover by 2031, the real story is about what this ‘green’ transformation is designed to achieve – regeneration – providing social, economic and environmental benefits both now and for generations to come.
The Forest is a broad, integrated and long-term vision, with wide ranging objectives that include:
- to regenerate the landscape, creating a visually exciting and functionally diverse environment;
- to achieve a high level of local community commitment to the concept and involvement in its implementation;
- to increase opportunities for sport and recreation, improve access for all, and provide new opportunities for educational activities;
- to establish a supply of timber and other woodland products, contributing to the move to a low carbon economy;
- to create new opportunities for nature conservation and seek opportunities to maximise the ecological potential of the area;
- to seek private sector support to implement the Forest and to invest in leisure and other relevant service sectors;
- to protect areas of existing nature conservation value, high quality landscape or historical or archaeological interest;
- to create jobs in the new woodland industries, both management of woodland and use of the raw materials, in the leisure industry developed in and around the Community Forest;
- to protect the best agricultural land and increase opportunities for farm diversification within the increasingly wooded landscape;
- to give public and private sector confidence in the long-term prospects for the area, providing a proper base for investment by creating an outstanding environment and setting as a comparative economic advantage over competitor areas;
An agreed Plan for a change for the better…
The creation of the Forest of Marston Vale is guided by the Forest Plan, a publicly and politically endorsed strategy which sets out the nationally agreed aims and objectives, plus clear principles and broad proposals for action. The Forest Plan was first published in 1995 and revised in 2000, both following several years of extensive consultation with local communities, Government and other stakeholders. The revised edition was written to guide creation of the Forest over the coming decades, reflecting key changes in policy and delivery mechanisms, particularly the formation of The Forest of Marston Vale Trust as the independent charity dedicated to leading this transformation of the area. The Forest Plan provides the agreed vision, aim and objectives for creating the Forest of Marston Vale to 2031.
Download a copy of the Forest Plan – Forest_Plan.pdf