As well as celebrating some successes with our supporters this month, we’re focusing on the general election. As the UK’s political parties gear up for 12 December, we want every candidate in this election to commit to a UK rich in woods and trees. 

North Yorkshire landscape saved

Thanks to the dedication of the local community, the landscape that features the Nidd Gorge has been saved. A proposed congestion relief road would have fragmented the landscape and damaged ancient woodland. It would also have impacted one of our own sites, Bilton Beck and Rudding Bottoms.

Hope for woods threatened by HS2?

The win for Nidd Gorge is the result of the community standing up for trees and woods. That’s why we’re delighted that more people than ever before have joined our HS2 campaign. More than 35,000 have asked for the review to take into consideration the environmental costs of the project.

Recent events mean the review isn’t likely to be published until the New Year. But we're daring to hope that your voices will be heard. We hope the 108 ancient woods threatened by the scheme might have bright futures – just like those near Harrogate. It’s not too late to add your voice.

Protecting trees and woods

HS2 rail link

HS2 is a grave threat to the UK’s ancient woods, with 108 at risk of loss or damage. We can’t let this happen. 

Read the latest

Towns plan for new street trees

The good news is not limited to North Yorkshire. In Northamptonshire, street trees have been lost at a steady rate for years, but we are finally about to see positive change. Far-Cotton, home to long time campaigner Alice Whitehead, will have new trees in the ground before the end of the year. Together with Alice, we’ve been working with the council to make a difference and the semi-mature trees we’re providing will have instant impact. Last year, Alice won one of our street tree awards – this year the prize is trees in the ground. We couldn’t be more pleased!

Street tree heroes

Alice is one of many people across the UK fighting for their street trees. They're planting the trees of the future, rallying community support and influencing local planning policies. Read their stories and discover how to champion street trees where you live.

Stand up for street trees

In Swansea there is a similar story. The Tree Forum was set up to give residents and community groups a platform to talk to their council about the value of their street trees. In a great display of what can be achieved when people work together, Swansea is preparing to plant more street trees this winter too. This is a great success for a forum still in its infancy.

National policy on street trees

We need trees in our towns and cities – they make them a nicer place to live, help with air quality and improve our wellbeing. In January 2019, we responded to a consultation on how street trees should be managed by councils across England. More than 3,500 of our dedicated supporters joined us and shared their views, asking for there to be a duty to consult residents before felling street trees. 

In October, the Government published its response to the consultation as part of the wider Environment Bill. This included introducing the duty to consult on street tree felling. This was fantastic news and will help make sure that it’s not just Swansea and Northampton that have positive futures for their street trees. 

But this is where it gets more complicated. Now a general election has been called, the Environment Bill has fallen. So have the street tree duties that it includes. The bill sits ready and waiting to be picked back up by the next government.

Tell election candidates trees and woods matter

With the election now on the horizon, it’s incredibly important that every single candidate commits to strong, robust and ambitious environmental legislation.

You can help by asking your candidates to commit to:

  • stronger environmental laws
  • increased tree cover
  • better protection for our ancient woods and trees.

Help protect ancient woods and trees