Ten key principles of the Tree Charter have been published today, aiming to bring trees and woods to the centre of UK society.
The 10 guiding principles for the future of trees, woods and people, have been drawn from more than 50,000 stories submitted by members of the public, including woodland owners via a survey Sylva Foundation ran in 2016. The principles reveal the role of trees in our lives, and are agreed by a coalition of more than 70 cross-sector UK organisations, including Sylva Foundation. These organisations are now united in calling for people across the UK to stand up for trees by signing the Tree Charter and helping to shape history.
The principles will form the bedrock of the new ‘Charter for Trees, Woods and People’ to be launched in November 2017, which aims to secure a brighter future for the nation’s woods and trees, and to protect the rights of all people in the UK to access the many benefits they offer.
Gabriel Hemery, Sylva Foundation CEO said:
“The Tree Charter is important for everyone in the UK. It is a vehicle for us all to reflect for a moment about what trees mean to us individually, and thanks to the engagement with tens of thousands of people across the UK it will provide a clarion call for society to do better in protecting and enhancing our trees and forests.”
Beccy Speight , Woodland Trust CEO said:
“Today, our nation’s woods and trees are facing unprecedented pressures from development, pests and diseases and climate change. They risk being neglected, undervalued and forgotten. Now is the time to create a new Tree Charter, which recognises the importance of trees in our society, celebrates their enormous contribution to our lives, and acts now so that future generations can benefit from them too.”
Whereas the historic charter was signed by a King to grant rights to his subjects, the new Tree Charter will draw its strength from people power, with signatures from hundreds of thousands of people from across the UK.
Principle Themes and their Aims:
- Nature Thriving habitats for diverse species
- Planting Planting for the future
- Arts & Heritage Celebrating the cultural impacts of trees
- Utility & Livelihoods A thriving forestry sector that delivers for the UK
- Protection Better protection for important trees and woods
- Planning Enhancing new developments with trees
- Health & Wellbeing Understanding and using the natural health benefits of trees
- People & Access to trees Access to trees for everyone
- Coping with Threats Addressing threats to woods and trees through good management
- Environment Strengthening landscapes with woods and trees
The Tree Charter Principles articulate the relationship between people and trees in the UK in the 21st Century. The final Charter will provide guidance and inspiration for policy, practice, innovation and enjoyment, redefining the everyday benefits that we all gain from woods and trees in our lives, for everyone, from Government to businesses, communities and individuals.
You can find out more and sign the new Charter at: treecharter.uk/sign