At the Woodland Trust, we believe everyone deserves to have their lives enriched by trees and woods.

We believe that all people, no matter their background, identity, ability or circumstance, should benefit from trees. We believe everyone deserves equal protection from climate change. Equal air, water and soil quality. Equal opportunity to feel the positive impact of trees and woods on our minds, bodies and spirits. But currently, this is not the case. Who we are and where we live determines how much we access, enjoy and benefit from woods and trees.

We also believe our own organisation should reflect and represent all voices within our communities. But again, currently this is not the case. For example, the environmental sector as a whole is one of the least ethnically diverse in the UK. We are no different.

But we are determined to change this and we are taking action.

What are we doing?

We know that we are not yet the organisation we want and need to be when it comes to diversity and inclusion. Just as it takes time and effort to create, restore and protect woods, it takes time to grow an inclusive culture in which diversity can thrive. But we are firmly committed to real systemic change and we're starting now.

We will:

  • support and educate our workforce, especially our leaders, to recognise and consistently use inclusive and tackle non-inclusive behaviours, words and actions
  • identify and root out sources of bias from our systems, processes, policies and ways of working
  • broaden and diversify our existing networks and activities
  • listen to and involve a wider range of people in our decision-making
  • work with others, including partners and the wider sector, on actions driving systemic change
  • build evidence to show where we currently are in terms of diversity and inclusion of internal and external audiences, what barriers exist, how we can overcome these barriers, and act on the evidence gathered
  • challenge the status quo of how we have done things previously
  • report honestly and transparently on our progress, internally and externally.

Our plans for 2021

In January 2021 we recruited a head of diversity and inclusion, reporting directly to our CEO, to drive the long-term systemic change we need from the top. We have also appointed a diversity and inclusion champion to our board of trustees.

During the remainder of 2021 our priorities are:

  • growing our internal knowledge and understanding of what diversity and inclusion are and how they link to our vision
  • threading diversity and inclusion through all the people elements of our strategy - as an integral part, not an add-on
  • identifying and rooting out bias from our employee recruitment, including implementing blind recruitment (where personal information is obscured from recruiting managers)
  • collaborating across the environmental sector on meaningful action-focused initiatives
  • building on the data we already have to identify our highest priorities to act on
  • publishing information on our website and in our annual report so we can be held accountable for our commitment and progress.