Gloucestershire Campaign to Protect Rural England

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A new Charter for Trees, Woods and People

Saturday, 26 August 2017 19:14

Siccarage Wood Siccarage Wood Richard Lloyd

26 August 2016

On 6th November 2017 the Charter for Trees, Woods and People will be launched.  CPRE is one of 70 partner organisations working with the Woodland Trust on an exciting initiative to recognise, celebrate and protect the rights of the people in the UK to the benefits brought by trees and woods.  

6th November is 800 years exactly since King Henry IIIrd signed the influential 1217 Charter of the Forest, following the Magna Carta in 1215.  

The new Charter is being written using the evidence of 60,000 tree stories, collected from the public, about what trees and woods mean to them. This, together with the expert knowledge of the partner organisations, will form the content of the final Tree Charter.

The Charter will be based around 10 principles.  

1.    Thriving habitats for diverse species
2.    Planting for the future
3.    Celebrating the cultural impact of trees
4.    A thriving forestry sector that delivers for the UK
5.    Better protection for important trees and woods
6.    Enhancing new developments with trees
7.    Understanding and using the natural health benefits of trees
8.    Access to trees for everyone
9.    Addressing threats to woods and trees through good management
10.  Strengthening landscapes with woods and trees

Individuals and organisations are being encouraged to sign up to the 10 Principles to show their support for trees and woods and the Charter will draw its strength from the number of signatures collected.   If you have not signed yet, please do so.   Sign the Tree Charter and we’ll plant a tree in the UK.

As a legacy in the landscape for the Charter, 11 marker poles are being created from Grown in Britain oak from the Crown Estate, carved by artist Simon Clements at the Sylva Wood Centre in Abingdon. These huge carved monuments in wood will represent the 10 Principles.  The 11th, representing the Charter overall will be “The Champion Pole”.  It will be unveiled in Lincoln Castle on the 6th November, the location of an original copy of the 1217 Charter of the Forest.  The other 10 Poles will be unveiled at regional events around the UK during National Tree Week.

As a living legacy in the landscape, 800 community marker trees are being given away, due to the significance of the 800 years since the Charter of the Forest was signed. These will be offered to groups  and organisations who show support for the Tree Charter, and will be delivered in time to plant during National Tree Week (25th November – 3rd December 2017).

For further information go to

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