The Charter will launch on 6 November, 800 years after the 1217 Charter of the Forest that re-established rights of access to the royal forest in medieval England
On 6 November 2017, the 800th anniversary of the influential 1217 Charter of the Forest, the Woodland Trust will launch the Charter for Trees, Woods and People.
Rooted in more than 60,000 ‘tree stories’ gathered from people of all backgrounds across the UK, and supported by more than 70 organisations across multiple sectors, the new Charter will recognise, celebrate and protect the right of the UK public to access trees and woods.
The Woodland Trust is now looking for hundreds of ‘Charter champions’ to help spread the message. On 6 November, hundreds of people will participate in an automated, coordinated social media blast promoting the launch of the Charter.
The benefits of trees and woods to public health and wellbeing are well documented. The UK’s woodland is not only rich in heritage and internationally significant, it also improves air quality, reduces noise pollution, cools urban areas and improves physical and mental health. It provides natural flood defences, important wildlife habitat, and recreational space, and is a sensory learning resource that can assist with children’s development.
The Tree Charter outlines the following 10 principles:
- Thriving habitats for diverse species
- Planting for the future
- Celebrating the cultural impact of trees
- A thriving forestry sector that delivers for the UK
- Better protection for important trees and woods
- Enhancing new developments with trees
- Understanding and using the natural health benefits of trees
- Access to trees for everyone
- Addressing threats to woods and trees through good management
- Strengthening landscapes with woods and trees