In 1217, two years after the Magna Carta was signed by King John, his heir Henry III signed the Charter of the Forest. The aim of this document was to protect the rights of free men to access and use the Royal Forests.
Moving forward 800 years to a time when England may have tipped into deforestation and with more trees being cut down than planted, it is essential we act now as a nation to protect the future of trees and woods for the generations to come.
A coalition of more than seventy organisations, led by the Woodland Trust, has launched the Tree Charter, which contains ten guiding principles for the future of trees. These principles will form the bedrock of the new Charter for Trees, Woods and People, to be launched in November (and which we will be covering in more depth in that issue), which aims to secure a brighter future for the nation’s woods and trees.
Beccy Speight, Woodland Trust CEO, explains:
“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. A new Tree Charter will put trees back at the heart of our communities — where they belong.”