“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
The call for a Tree Charter - a revolutionary social movement - 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
declining interest in forestry and arboriculture careers
threats from housing and infrastructure development, pests, diseases and climate change.
Each one of these issues was being addressed in isolation by a small number of concerned organisations and tree lovers.
The launch of the Tree Charter signals the beginning of a new era for woods, trees and people in the UK. To mark its launch in 2017, 11 carved wooden poles were installed in sites across the UK as lasting reminders of the Tree Charter and its 10 Principles.
Sustain landscapes rich in wildlife
Plant for the future
Celebrate the power of trees to inspire
Grow forests of opportunity and innovation
Protect irreplaceable trees and woods
Plan greener local landscapes
Recover health, hope and wellbeing with the help of trees
Make trees accessible to all
Combat the threats to our habitats
Strengthen our landscapes with trees
Creating a national day for trees, woods and people
Trees deserve to be celebrated. Each year the whole of UK society should unite in celebrating the value and importance of trees and woods to people.
On the last Saturday in November each year, local communities, schools, organisations and individuals should mark a national ‘Tree Charter Day’ with activities and events that celebrate and reinvigorate the relationship between people and trees.
By signing the tree charter you will be showing your support and joining a social movement that is helping to strengthen the rights of trees and woodlands in the UK.
Young people are increasingly disconnected from the natural environment. The Woodland Trust is asking schools and young people to engage with the Tree Charter and show support for the 10 Principles underpinning a future that will reconnect young people with nature.
There are useful links on the tree charter website to help teachers, parents and community groups connect young people with the Principles of the Tree Charter and with the woods and trees around them.
Help to create a future in which trees and people stand stronger together.