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Sign the Tree Charter - help bring it to life

The charter's strength comes from you. Sign to show you care, and that you agree with the charter's principles

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The Charter for Trees, Woods and People sets out the role trees and woods play in our lives, the rights we all have to the benefits trees and woodland provide, and our responsibilities towards maintaining and supporting them. Each of its 10 principles articulate the relationship between people and trees in the UK in the 21st Century.  

We lean on each other, but for years we have been drifting apart. The people of the UK have a right to the benefits brought by trees and woods, and a role in keeping them safe and healthy. The Tree Charter recognises and protects this.

The Tree Charter will draw its strength from the hundreds of thousands of people across the UK that sign.

Be a part of this piece of history, and show your support for the charter's vision and principles - sign today.

The 10 Tree Charter Principles

Sustain landscapes rich in wildlife

Thriving habitats for diverse species

Each tree is a world within itself, teeming with life. A fallen branch is a feast for beetles, fungal-rich woodland soil is a wildflower bed. A hedgerow is a living network, where a host of creatures share their home. Forests are full of opportunities for people, but their natural wealth is the wildlife. Our future good means thinking in the round, adapting plans to what is on the ground. New urban and transport projects should make routes for our native wildlife to move forward too. Take heed of nature’s needs.

Plant for the future

Planting for the future

When we enjoy the company of a treasured tree or the beauty of a favourite wood we often owe thanks to those with the foresight and confidence to invest in the future. We must show that same generosity of spirit, that same sense of hope for the future, and plant more now. Line streets with living greenery, let trees allow shifting colour into every life. More orchards for communities, more hedges for wildlife, more forests for timber and jobs. Nurture people’s pride in their local trees and empower them to care for their future. Right tree, right place, bright future.

Celebrate the power of trees to inspire

Celebrating the cultural impact of trees

Stories have always grown on trees. Artists are drawn to their intricacies. Woods are rooted in memories, but it’s the leaf mould of tales told that nourishes future growth. The poetry of trees is always living, for every older work sends out new shoots. We grow attached to trees in books and learn to look for them in life. We feel connected to trees we know and love to see them painted well. Celebrate Tree Charter Day each year to strengthen this cultural legacy and help our living traditions thrive.

Grow forests of opportunity and innovation

A thriving forestry sector that delivers for the UK

Forests, woods and trees all flourish under the stewardship of skilled professionals. Trees reward us with fuel for enterprise, craft and invention, green energy and fires. Consider the source of wooden products and choose the home-grown from well-managed forests. Teach the rising generation that with responsible management a wooded land is a thriving nation.

Protect irreplaceable trees and woods

Better protection for important trees and woods

Ancient woods have been continuously wooded since before records started: they are living descendants from Britain’s prehistory. A tree may be a village’s oldest inhabitant, a founding figure in a region’s identity, a natural monument in the nation’s story. Thorn-bushes and hedgerows harbour our history. Old orchards are habitats for some of our rarest species and living museums of disappearing ways of life. A country that cares for its future cares for its past: we need laws and commitment to protect these irreplaceable natural treasures.

Plan greener local landscapes

Enhancing new developments with trees

The trees that touch us most are those that live among us, along our street, in the local park, beside our school or place of work. Like us, they grow and change, need space to breathe and support to thrive. Trees give places their distinctive character. Local community networks have a vital role to play in caring for woods and trees. Trees provide long-lasting good, so well-informed planning reaps long-term rewards. Take guidance on planting, felling and replanting from skilled professionals. Good landscapes of the future depend on care for trees today.

Recover health, hope and wellbeing with the help of trees

Understand and using the natural health benefits of trees

Peace grows quietly in tree-lined places, where bees, fresh scents and birdsong revive our jaded senses. Sprays of greenery ensure cleaner air and clearer minds, and fitter bodies, more inclined to take a walk or meet a friend. Spirits lift and stress recedes when we stroll through healing glades. Parks and woodlands keep us well and help to quell fears of illness, ageing, loss – we breathe more freely under trees. Healthcare and tree-care go hand in hand: harness the therapeutic power of trees.

Make trees accessible to all

Access to trees for everyone

Trees offer shared experience to every age, religion and race. In woods people can work together, sharing experiences and learning from each other and their natural surroundings. Those who no longer move with ease can still find pleasure among the trees. Cheerful voices ring through leaves, from makeshift pitches and games of make-believe. There should be room for us all beneath spreading canopies.

Combat the threats to our habitats

Addressing threats to woods and trees through good management

Pests, diseases and climate change pose serious threats to our precious trees. Enlightened management of woods will help ensure their future health: planting strong seeds and saplings, selecting species suited to the site, keeping forests mixed in age and kind, regular thinning, combatting invasive plants, and controlling infections and pests at the earliest sign.

Strengthen our landscapes with trees

Strengthening landscapes with woods and trees

From roots that bind and enrich the soil to leaves that shade and shelter, from locking carbon into timber and purifying air and water, trees make our landscapes better. Rising water swells and floods, so strengthen riverbanks with roots. Bare hills need trees to keep the soil stable, to slow the flow of nature's deluge, to shelter sheep or shade the cattle. The right tree in the right place earns its keep again and again. As farmers and landowners benefit from woods, the country will be strengthened in the years ahead.