Tree Charter Launches 800 Years On

Tree Charter Launches 800 Years On

The new Tree Charter launches today, 800 years after the 1217 Charter of the Forest!

Lincoln Cathedral, home to one of the remaining 1217 Charters of the Forest, today hosts the launch of the new Charter for Trees.

Sign the Tree Charter

Much like the 1217 Charter, which established the rights of free men to access and use the Royal Forest which had been diminished by successive rulers of the country, the new Charter for Trees is borne out of the current threat to trees and woods in the UK, including:

• low planting rates
• lack of legal protection
• poor management
• declining interest in forestry and arboriculture careers
• threats from poorly designed housing and infrastructure development
• climate change, with associated pest and disease outbreaks


The Woodland Trust reached out to over 70 organisations and 300 local community groups, gathering over 60,000 tree stories from people to demonstrate the important role that trees plan in their lives. From this the new Charter for Trees has been drawn up with 10 defined principles to ensure is stands for every tree and every person in the UK. These 10 principles are defined as:

1. Sustain landscapes rich in wildlife
2. Plant for the future
3. Celebrate the power of trees to inspire
4. Recover health, hope and wellbeing with     the help of trees
5. Grow forests of opportunity and innovation
6. Protect irreplaceable trees and woods
7. Plan greener local landscapes
8. Make trees accessible to all
9. Combat the threats to our habitats
10. Strengthen our landscapes with trees

Sam will be joining others today to celebrate the launch of the Charter for Trees and look forward to putting these principles into practice throughout our work. Sign up here and join over 100,000 people.

About the author: PETER WHARTON, Director & Arboricultural Consultant