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Threats to woodland

Threats to woodland, wildlife and the wider environment are growing, and this has an impact on all our lives.

Our trees and woods face a challenging combination of pressures: climate change, inappropriate development, pollution, a growing population in a predominantly urban environment and attack from deadly tree diseases and pests.

Ancient woods and trees, in particular, are some of our most valuable natural assets. They are irreplaceable and home to many vulnerable and threatened species. We believe there should be no further loss of ancient woodland and ancient trees.

Campaigning to save a local wood

Pests and diseases

The increasing number of pests and diseases attacking trees in the UK is having a real impact on our woodland and wildlife. Chalara ash dieback alone could claim millions of the UK’s ash trees, particularly affecting our landscape outside of woods, while oak trees are suffering the impact of acute oak decline.

Find out how we work to protect our most valuable woods and trees from pests and diseases through research, partnerships and by influencing policy.

Human impact

The UK’s woodland is under threat. More than 1,000 irreplaceable ancient woods have been threatened by development over the last 10 years.

And there are weak levels of legislative protection for our most precious woods. Dwindling grant funding is adding to the pressure.

We work to protect our most valuable woods and trees from direct loss. We also advocate buffering our most valuable woods from the impacts of neighbouring land-use, through creation of new wildlife areas around them. Find out how you can help.