The presence of mature trees amongst the houses sets Fairfield Park apart from most other modern housing developments and is one of the things that attracted many of us to live here. But as older trees are slowly lost, new trees are also needed to maintain the rural parkland feel for the future. FPRA board member Kerstie Washtell is responsible for the latest planting, and she agreed to fill us in on some of the details.

The Fairfield Park Residents’ Association (FPRA) recently applied for a tree grant through Central Bedfordshire Council’s tree grant scheme, which is aimed at delivering tree and hedge planting across the county to increase biodiversity, offset carbon, and support the improvement of green infrastructure in the area.

We received the fantastic news in January that the grant had been approved. After discussing the project with all members of the FPRA and Fairfield Park Lower School, it was decided that the grass area outside the front of the school, on and around Dickens Boulevard, would be the ideal space. The planting of 24 trees took place on 3 March.

The trees selected are varieties that are found traditionally in urban or semi-rural locations. They include three types of maple as well as birch, hawthorn, rowan, crab apple, cherry and ornamental pear. All are sympathetic to the local landscape and environment, promoting birds and wildlife whilst offering plenty of seasonal interest and colour. We have been careful to select trees that pose no risk to children and do not produce great volumes of fruit, nuts or seeds.

The tree planting will be supported by the local scout group, who will use this project to engage in wider discussions about environmental issues and help make a positive contribution to the local community by supporting the aftercare of the young trees.

We hope that the trees will enhance the visual aesthetics at the heart of the community for years to come. The trees will also be added to the Queen’s Green Canopy.