Quick fact

In 2020 we campaigned to defend ancient woods and trees in more than 280 cases.


  • Several ancient woods were saved from Eastleigh Borough Council’s development proposals after residents' campaigning and our own objections.
  • Service station plans threatening Smithy Wood, by the M1 near Sheffield, were withdrawn. You made this possible after campaigning with us for six years.
  • After four years and thousands of your voices, the chosen route for the A27 Arundel bypass won't destroy any ancient woods.
  • Thousands of you took part in our England Tree Strategy campaign calling for strong targets to tackle climate change with trees. Watch Zac Goldsmith’s response to your comments.
  • You joined us in urging UK governments to increase native tree cover to fight climate change as part of the Big Climate Fightback.
  • Through our campaign, over 9,600 of you responded to the public consultation on changes to England’s planning system calling for trees and woods to be valued.
  • The Time is Now virtual lobby brought over 14,000 people together with 200+ MPs to talk about a healthy, green and fair recovery after coronavirus.
  • We worked with other conservation organisations to release the Nature’s Arc principles, asking government and decision makers to put nature at the heart of the Oxford to Cambridge Growth Arc.
  • Our expert Luci Ryan gave evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee after HS2 Ltd was unable to offer assurances on our concerns. The Committee published its report, asking HS2 Ltd to look again at sourcing UK and Irish sourced and grown trees.
  • You joined us in droves to push for Government action as we launched the Emergency Tree Plan, our vision for how the UK can increase tree cover and tackle the nature and climate crises.


  • More than 3,000 of you joined us to respond to DEFRA’s consultation on protecting and enhancing England’s trees and woods. Your voices were heard and the new Environment Bill, published in autumn 2019, included a legal duty to consult before felling street trees, and stronger powers for the Forestry Commission on illegal felling too. 
  • Over 280 people shared their thoughts on draft proposals for the Scottish Forestry Strategy and the future for Scotland’s woods and trees. The strategy will guide almost all policy and action around woods and trees in Scotland for the next decade.  
  • We joined 12,000 people at the Time is Now mass lobby held by The Climate Coalition and GreenerUK to ask for action on climate change and nature’s decline.
  • We campaigned to save the Nidd Gorge landscape, including ancient woodland and one of our own sites, from being cut in two by a proposed relief road. Your voices were heard and the council scrapped the plans.
  • Thousands of you joined us in pressing Government to include the environmental cost of HS2 in the Oakervee Review, its review of the scheme. We successfully delayed the start of works and removal of precious ancient woodland sites. We’ll continue to fight to stop the devastation caused by the project.
  • Our Big Climate Fightback campaign culminated in tree planting events across the UK on 30 November, with over 265,000 people taking part! The mass planting day also marked Tree Charter Day, the only national day celebrating the UK’s tree heritage.
  • 3,800 people took part in our campaign to put trees on the agenda for the General Election, with every major party competing for bigger tree targets. Now we need to ensure their promises are delivered and the right trees are planted in the right place.


  • We ran a huge campaign on phase 2b of HS2, which threatened at least 30 ancient woods. As a result, over 32,000 people responded to the draft Environmental Statement consultation. The final consultation is expected in 2021 at the earliest. 
  • We successfully lobbied Government to improve English planning policy and better protect our irreplaceable habitats. The National Planning Policy Framework wording now states that any applications for development resulting in loss or damage to ancient woods or ancient and veteran trees should be refused unless ‘wholly exceptional’.


  • We launched the Charter for Trees, Woods and People on 6 November 2017, the 800th anniversary of the influential 1217 Charter of the Forest. The charter sets out the principles by which trees and people in the UK can stand stronger together.