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News & Press: SocEnv News

The Society for the Environment Supports the Tree Charter

04 September 2017   (0 Comments)

The Society for the Environment have pledged their support to the Tree Charter by signing on the dotted line, and encourage individuals and organisations to follow suit. 

This week, the Society for the Environment signed the Tree Charter, an initiative co-ordinated by the Woodland Trust and supported by thousands of individuals, organisations and groups. 

After years in the making, the new Charter for trees, woods and people will be unveiled at Lincoln Castle on the 6th November - the 800th anniversary of the original Charter of the Forest.

Following involvement from over 70 organisations, more than 100,000 members of the public and at least 300 community groups the document’s 10 guiding principles redefine the relationship people in the UK have with trees and woods. These will be reflected in the charter itself and on 10 huge hand carved oak poles situated at sites across the UK, with an additional Champion pole being revealed at the castle launch.

10 guiding 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

Beccy Speight, Woodland Trust CEO said: "The Charter’s ambition was and is to place trees and woods at the centre of national decision making, and back at the heart of our lives and communities. Over the course of the last two years we have done just that. The new charter will redefine the relationship with people and trees in the UK for present and future generations, providing guidance and inspiration for policy, practice and attitude, across Government, businesses, communities and individuals."


A national tree charter day for trees, woods and people

It is vital that the Tree Charter is not forgotten, and continues to unite society behind a shared vision for trees, woods and people. From this we are calling for the last Saturday in November each year to become mark a national ‘Tree Charter Day’ - a day that local communities, schools, organisations and individuals can use to reinvigorate the relationship between people and trees. 

Each year, to coincide with Tree Charter Day, the Woodland Trust will convene a committee of cross-sector organisations to review progress towards achieving the objectives set out in the Tree Charter Principles. This will provide a focus for discussion, campaigning and action to tackle the key challenges that threaten the trees in our lives and landscapes.

Tree Charter Day will always fall in National Tree Week, the Tree Council’s annual celebration of trees that marks the start of winter tree planting season. 


The future

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.

At a time when England may have tipped into deforestation, with more trees being cut down than planted for the first time in 40 years, it is essential we act now as a nation to protect the future of trees and woods for people for generations to come.

From community woods across the UK, street trees in our cities, timber in our houses, to many ancient trees and woods with historical and cultural connections such as the Tolpuddle Martyrs tree– which saw the birth of trade unions – or Sherwood Forest linked to much folklore and history, trees and woods play an important part in our lives, but more ancient woods are under threat than ever before.

The Society encourages you to sign the Tree Charter and give your support at

Text adapted the Woodland Trust. 

Professional bodies licensed to award the Chartered Environmentalist registration:

Society for the Environment
EC1.1 Enterprise Centre, Puma Way 
Coventry, West Midlands CV1 2TT.
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