The International Day of Forests on 21 March celebrates and raises awareness of forests and trees and their benefits for current and future generations. This year’s theme is ‘forest restoration: a path to recovery and well-being’. 

Watch HRH The Princess Royal’s message

The 21st March marks the International Day of Forests – a day designed to raise awareness of the importance of forests, woods and trees across the world.

We know more now about the incredible range of benefits that trees deliver to us and our planet than at any other time in mankind’s existence and yet, through global deforestation, the world is losing millions of hectares of forest every year.

Trees make our life on earth possible and yet, it is perhaps the everyday nature of them that has made it so easy to take them for granted. They generate oxygen, store carbon, stabilise the soil, play host to a spectacular variety of wildlife, provide us with raw materials and shelter and inspire our imaginations and our creativity.

Nor should we forget that trees and woodlands make a positive difference to our own health and wellbeing. Life has changed for all of us over the past 12 months and during the most challenging of times we have become aware of the importance of having regular access to green spaces. People have found comfort in woodland in these calming and magical places.

We all benefit from our trees and woods and we could do with a great deal more of them. The Woodland Trust’s hope for this year’s International Day of Forests is that more of us stop taking our local trees for granted.

The Woodland Trust has ambitious plans to plant 50 million trees over the next five years and we will be doing this involving as many people as possible.

There are many ways to get involved, and if you can help in any way, do visit the Woodland Trust’s website. We are always keen to work together.

On this International Day of Forests, enjoy the trees, respect what they do for us now and help us plan for our future with many more trees.

Thank you.

Boosting our wellbeing

Trees contribute enormously to our physical and mental health and wellbeing.

That's never been clearer than during the pandemic. Our woods have been open and free for everyone to visit throughout.

We've also run special sessions to help more people benefit from nature. At Smithills Estate near Bolton, for example, our virtual courses for dementia sufferers and their carers show how woodland visits can stimulate memory. We've hosted virtual health and wellbeing workshops and wildlife and craft clubs for kids too, helping as many people as possible to enjoy the great outdoors.

Discover the benefits of time in nature

Creating a brighter future

To create a brighter future for people and wildlife, we must address the climate and biodiversity crises. Restoring and sustainably managing our forests is vital to our recovery and wellbeing.  

Explore our work

Our vision is a UK rich in native woods and trees.

Celebrate trees and woods

This International Day of Forests and beyond, let's take time to recognise how amazing our trees and woods are. Life would be very different without them. We should appreciate and protect them and the benefits they bring.

Celebrate by taking time to enjoy your nearest green space, or helping to plant and safeguard more precious trees. Cherish nature and all it does for us, now and in the future.

Visiting woods

Go exploring

Primordial landscapes, tangled branches, breathtaking wildlife and miles of woodland trails. From the countryside to cities, we care for thousands of woods throughout the UK, all free to visit.

Find a wood near you

Take action today