Led by the Woodland Trust, more than 50 organisations from across multiple sectors, are standing together to call for a Charter for Trees, Woods and People.
Through collecting stories about what trees and woods mean to people, we are building a picture of their value to everyone in the UK. These stories will be used to create a set of guiding principles, around which the charter will be written. The final Charter for Trees, Woods and People will influence policy and practice and celebrate the role that trees and woods play in our lives.
The new charter will launch on November 6th 2017, the 800th anniversary of the Charter of the Forest.
Why do we need trees?
- Trees and woods are hugely valuable for our health, happiness and our children’s development
- Our woodland heritage is even richer and internationally more significant than we realised.
- The UK is one of the top consumers of wood products in the world
- Clean air
- Natural flood defences
- A mask for noise
- Improved physical health and mental well-being
- Cooling urban areas
- Pollution absorption
- Wildlife habitat
- Recreational spaces
- Contact with nature
- Sensory outdoor learning resources
What are the threats?
- Infrastructure development (building homes, railways and roads)
- Pollution and climate change (changing weather and temperatures are challenging for trees)
- Pests and diseases (increasing all the time – whole species such as Ash could be lost if not helped)
- Lack of protection for ancient woodland in planning policy (UK has just 2% ancient woodland cover, yet more than 500 ancient woods are under threat)
- 60% of wildlife species are in decline across the UK
- Decline in enrolments in forestry education (lack of awareness of forest jobs in young people)
- Big trees dying of old age but not being replaced (especially in cities)
We’re not even planting enough trees to replace those we are losing each year.