800 years of the Tree Charter

  • Contributor information: CNP

Hundreds of thousands of people are signing a new Charter for Trees, Woods and People, celebrating 800 years since the original Tree Charter, and pledging support for the future of the UK’s trees. Campaign for National Parks is proud to have supported the creation of the new Tree Charter, as part of efforts led by the Woodland Trust and other organisations.

Trees are an integral part of the mix of landscapes in National Parks. In 2016 there were 182,538ha of woodland in National Parks. They provide essential habitats for a range of plants and animals including invertebrates, birds and bats. Trees are also a crucial resource for personal wellbeing, with evidence increasingly demonstrating the positive health benefits trees can provide.

Pontfaen, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. Photo Credit: Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.

The original Tree Charter dates back from 1217 and was signed by King Henry III. The new Charter has gone to lengths to evoke the special place of trees in our cultural history including using oak gall ink to write the new charter, just like the original.

The Tree Charter is based around 10 principles, including securing access to trees, protection for ancient woodlands and calling for a step-up in managed planting. Trees and woods face unprecedented threats including invasive species, disease and climate change. These 10 principles are essential for a thriving future for trees in your National Parks and across the country.

You’re invited to sign the Charter and show your support for the 10 principles.

Find out more and sign the Tree Charter today!

Check out the Woodland Trust’s Matt Larsen-Daw’s amazing TEDex talk about the human relationship with trees and the Tree Charter.