Skip Navigation

The consultation has closed but the fight for our ancients continues

The Government’s ten week consultation on the revised draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) closed on 10 May. 

What have we been doing?

The last ten weeks have been really busy. Since the Prime Minister launched the draft new NPPF in March, we have been hard at work figuring out exactly what it means for our ancient woods and trees, and then campaigning hard to make it better. The All Party Parliamentary Group for Ancient Woods and Trees has met, giving us a chance to speak to the planning minister, Dominic Raab and spread the word with friendly parliamentarians. We have met with many other interested bodies and businesses and taken every opportunity to lobby key stakeholders. We have worked with our conservation colleagues at Wildlife and Countryside Link to input into their joint response as well as producing our own detailed response.

The consultation has closed, but we'll continue working to get better protection for our ancient and veteran trees (Photo: C Marsh)
The consultation has closed, but we'll continue working to get better protection for our ancient and veteran trees (Photo: C Marsh)

Your response

It has been great to have your support – over 10,000 of you contributed to our campaign asking the Government to provide better protection for ancient and veteran trees. Thank you so much for all your thoughts - you have sent the Government thousands of wonderful comments.  Here is just a taste:

Every ancient tree is a history lesson.  Many of them are older than our revered historic buildings.  Just as you can't go out and plant compensation ancient woodland, you can't plant substitute ancient trees.

Ancient trees are an irreplaceable part of our landscape. Now more than ever we need to protect them as they serve as pillars of the ecosystem. The invertebrate and mammalian communities that live and thrive in and around ancient trees must be protected.

Ancient trees and ancient woodland are our history, our lungs and our children's future.

In total, the Government received over 27,000 representations on the draft NPPF, and it aims to produce the final document by late July 2018. That is a huge amount of information to wade through in a short period of time.

What do we do now?

We must keep up the pressure to ensure that ancient woodland and ancient trees are at the forefront of their minds. We are nearly there with ancient woodland - the current draft promises the ‘wholly exceptional’ protection that ancient woodland needs and for which we have long lobbied. We just need to keep working with our supporters and our friends in Parliament to get the same protection for ancient and veteran trees.

A country that cares for its future cares for its past

Show your support by signing the Tree Charter