High Sheriff marks handover with tree planting at the Forest of Marston Vale

Tree planting at Marston Vale, from left, The Countess of Erroll, Colin Osborne, Diane Osborne and Nick Webb, CEO of The Forest of Marston Vale Trust.

Tree planting at Marston Vale, from left, The Countess of Erroll, Colin Osborne, Diane Osborne and Nick Webb, CEO of The Forest of Marston Vale Trust.

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The Forest of Marston Vale provided the venue for some tree planting by two of Bedfordshire’s most distinguished people.

Outgoing High Sheriff, Colin Osborne MBE, planted 10 trees to mark the end of a successful and very busy year in this apolitical and entirely self-funded post.

He was joined on a cool but bright morning, by his successor, The Countess of Erroll, who was installed as Bedfordshire’s High Sheriff at an official ceremony on March 29.

Amongst Colin Osborne’s achievements for the year are a huge range of official duties involving the church, judiciary and visiting a number of schools and charities around the county.

His year began in March 2014, with the planting of a tree in the Forest of Marston Vale, with the previous High Sheriff.

He said: “I had an excellent year as High Sheriff, one that I will never forget.”

The Office of High Sheriff is at least 1,000 years old having its roots in Saxon times before the Norman Conquest.

Now predominantly a ceremonial role, originally the office held many of the powers now vested in the Lord Lieutenant, High Court judges, magistrates, local authorities, coroners and even the Inland Revenue. The incoming High Sheriff, The Countess of Erroll as a resident in Bedfordshire, is looking forward to gaining a greater understanding of the legal system as well as meeting people in a variety of organisations, both voluntary and statutory, throughout the county. After a long line of male High Sheriffs, she is only the 8th Lady High Sheriff for the county.

Nick Webb, Marston Vale Trust’s Chief Executive, joined The Countess of Erroll, Colin Osborne and his wife Diane at Wood End, to plant the trees.

He said: “I’m delighted to welcome both the incoming and outgoing High Sheriff to this beautiful new woodland in the Forest. I hope these newly planted trees will remind them of their year of public service, for a long time in the future.”

Wood End, which lies adjacent to an existing semi ancient natural woodland – Marston Thrift, was planted throughout this winter by the Marston Vale Trust. It will be open to the public later in the year. For more information visit www.marstonvale.org