Policy and advocacy
Our ‘Enough is Enough’ campaign saw many twists and turns over 2017. In February, the Government promised (through the housing White Paper) to give ancient woodland “stronger” protection. Whilst we welcomed this, we made it clear that what was proposed could only be effective if the specific policy that protects ancient woods and trees in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) was also updated – ideally bringing this in line with the protection already given to manmade heritage. After all, ancient woods and trees are natural heritage assets; they deserve at least the same protection!
During the consultation on these plans, more than 15,000 Trust supporters backed our view. This message was amplified over October when a further 15,000 messages were sent to ministers urging them to update the NPPF so that any loss to ancient woodland or trees could in future be considered to be ‘wholly exceptional’, as any loss to designated man-made assets is currently.
To know the Government accepts that planning policy is failing ancient woodland is a huge step-change. We’re now waiting for a formal consultation on the NPPF (due in the coming weeks) – this is their only opportunity do the right thing and make the simple amend we have been asking for for so long.
Altogether, 29,936 people took part in these campaigns. We couldn’t have made this huge impact without the help from everyone who took part. A huge thank you from us for being the voice our vulnerable ancients need so badly.
A new chapter for trees, woods and people
The Tree Charter was launched in November last year to huge media attention. To date, more than 130,000 signatures have been added from across the UK. The Charter now exists as a beautiful and inspiring document, detailing the 10 Principles which all centre around the use, protection, expansion, landscape and celebration of the nation’s trees and woods.
Show your support by signing the Charter.