In the campaigns team we are working harder than ever for woods and trees. We are celebrating successful campaigns, preparing for a street tree festival and working behind the scenes in the legal battle against HS2. One of the key factors remains engaging with other people and organisations that have the power to make a difference. Find out how we’re working to influence decision makers to create a greener future.

Pressing Government for a green recovery

As Boris announced his plans to ‘build, build, build’ and bulldoze through planning reforms on 30 June, 14,000 people were taking a stand. As part of The Time Is Now virtual lobby, more than 200 MPs met with constituents to talk about a healthy, green and fair recovery after coronavirus.

The virtual lobby followed the record-breaking lobby at Westminster in 2019. This year we had to adapt and go online, but that didn’t stop thousands of people speaking up.

Lockdown has given us the opportunity to better connect with the natural world around us. It has increased desire to protect our precious habitats from destruction. The sheer number of people lobbying their MPs shows the demand for a recovery that benefits people, nature and the environment.

There’s still time to join the movement. Press Government to lead the UK towards a healthier, greener, fairer future. Sign up to lobby your MP until October 2020, and sign the Climate Coalition’s declaration.

Woodland Trust sites saved from development

Several ancient woods have been saved from Eastleigh Borough Council’s development proposals. They include some of the Trust’s own ancient woods, Upper Barn & Crowdhill Copses. Separated by only a small field, the proposed link road would have severed our sites in two.

The construction of thousands of homes would have:

  • irreparably damaged the woods’ biodiversity
  • fragmented these sites from the wider landscape.

Thousands of local residents have supported our objections since 2016. Without local communities forming their own campaigns and helping with ours, these woods may not have been saved. A huge thank you to you all.

We also thank Mims Davies MP, who supported her constituents and put pressure on the council to change its plans. Getting local politicians on board can be invaluable.

Together we showed Eastleigh Borough Council that residents don’t want local development at the expense of ancient woodland.

We recognise the need for more housing across the UK. But we’ll continue to press decision makers to put nature and the environment at the top of the agenda when considering new development plans.

Sheffield Tree Week: A fresh start

Thanks to the unwavering dedication of Sheffield campaigners, hundreds of trees have been saved from the chop. Local groups have been at the forefront of change in Sheffield, from direct activism to creating incredible art works. These works include the amazing Sheffield Tree Charter Pledge: 2020 Vision convened by Green City Heritage.

Now these groups have come together to bring you Sheffield Tree Week, a virtual festival from 13-19 July. Free webinars will include art workshops, career conversations and guest speakers on topics like national tree planting targets and the science of soils.

The festivities will end on a high on 17 July, celebrating the launch of the Sheffield Street Tree Partnership Working Strategy. Launching in a live webinar with our street tree guru, Joseph Coles, attendees will also be able to take part in a Q&A. 

Residents and decision makers have worked together to create this five-year management strategy for the city’s trees. Local people will have opportunity to shape the proposals during a full year of engagement and consultation. Read and respond to the consultation.

Strategies like this will make sure street trees are managed properly for years to come. It’s a shining example of how lobbying authorities can influence decisions to benefit people, nature and the environment.

Discover how to champion street trees where you live

HS2 hearing at the Court of Appeal

Chris Packham has taken his legal fight against HS2 to the Court of Appeal. The courts granted the hearing on the basis of considerable public interest. Held on 8 July, three leading judges heard the evidence and will now determine whether a judicial review of the HS2 project should take place. This type of review considers the lawfulness of a decision made by a public body – in this case the Government’s decision for HS2 to go ahead.

The appeal is based on two grounds:

  1. The Oakervee Review, set up to assess if and how HS2 should continue, did not adequately take into account the environmental impact of the scheme when it recommended it should proceed.
  2. The Prime Minister and Transport Secretary failed to consider the implications of the international Paris Agreement on climate change when they agreed the scheme should proceed.

Our expert Luci Ryan helped to shape Chris’ evidence on how the scheme impacts ancient woodland. As yet it’s unclear when the decision will be announced or what the judicial review process might be. We’ll be watching with great interest and will keep you informed.

Prioritising nature in the Oxford to Cambridge Growth Arc

The Oxford to Cambridge Growth Arc is a plan to build up to a million new homes between Oxford and Cambridge, with a railway and roads to connect them.

We worked with other leading nature conservation organisations to release our Nature’s Arc principles. These set out what we want to see adopted at a local level to protect, restore and increase nature in the Oxford-Cambridge Growth Arc.

One of our priorities is preventing development from impacting ancient woodland habitats. We aim to engage with local decision makers at the earliest opportunity to achieve the best outcomes for the environment. Find out more about why we’ve created the Nature’s Arc principles.

Help protect ancient woods and trees