The Charter for Woods, Trees and People

The Charter for Trees, Woods and People sets out the principles for a society in which people and trees can stand stronger together. The Tree Charter was launched in Lincoln Castle on 6 November 2017; the 800th anniversary of the 1217 Charter of the Forest. The Tree Charter is rooted in more than 60,000 ‘tree stories’ gathered from people of all backgrounds across the UK.

Why was the Tree Charter made?

The call for a Tree Charter was initiated in 2015 by the Woodland Trust in response to the crisis facing trees and woods in the UK. There was no clear, unifying statement about the rights of people in the UK to the benefits of trees, woods and forests. The UK’s trees and woods face:

  • low planting rates;
  • lack of legal protection;
  • inconsistent management;
  • declining interest in forestry and arboriculture careers;
  • threats from housing and infrastructure development, pests, diseases and climate change.

What does the Tree Charter aim to achieve?

The Woodland Trust reached out to all sections of UK society to define this new Charter, and to build a people-powered movement for trees. More than 70 organisations and 300 local community groups answered the call and helped to collect over 60,000 tree stories from people, demonstrating the important role that trees play in their lives. These stories were read and shared, and helped to define the 10 Principles of the Tree Charter, ensuring that it stands for every tree and every person in the UK.

The Charter can be used by community groups, charities, businesses and individuals as a lobbying piece to show the importance of our trees as the Charter has been made by leading organisations within the sector. 

A full list of which organisations helped to shape the charter and more information about this historic piece, can be found on the website here; https://treecharter.uk/about.html 

“Natural treasures, in roots, wood and leaves, for beauty, for use, the air that we breathe.
Imagine: a wood starts with one small seed. We’re stronger together – people and trees.”
Harriet Fraser, 2017