The strategy must be ambitious

It must set meaningful targets to increase native tree cover, restore our ancient woodlands, and drive action at a local level. If the Government’s strategy does not aim high enough, the threats facing our woods and trees will rise beyond repair.

Ahead of last year’s General Election, you joined us in asking all candidates to take action for woods and trees. As a result, every major political party made key election promises on tree planting. But eight months later, the Government’s proposals do not include a single target for expanding tree cover in England. Together we can change this.

The value of trees and nature has come into sharp focus during the pandemic. These places have given us respite and hope through difficult times. Government needs to recognise this and take ambitious action. It must do more to protect, plant and restore new woods and trees, for people, nature and climate. 

Government’s plans fall short

The proposals for the England Tree Strategy are in better shape than they were. Our Emergency Tree Plan laid out how Government should increase canopy cover and address the climate and nature crises with woods and trees. Thousands of you called on DEFRA to incorporate these recommendations into the England Tree Strategy. Your voices were heard and we've got Government's attention. The consultation is our opportunity to improve the strategy further still. 

This strategy is a vital element of the wider green recovery. As we rebuild from the pandemic, we need to make sure the recovery puts us on the right path to restoring nature and climate. 

We need a green recovery, and trees need to be part of it. The England Tree Strategy will determine if, and how, that happens.

The consultation is now closed

Thank you to the thousands of people that joined our campaign to call for a bolder England Tree Strategy. The consultation closed on 11 September and Defra has been reviewing the responses. We expect the strategy, now called the England Tree Action Plan, to be published in May 2021.

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Our woods and trees can't speak for themselves. Together we can stand up for the environment and safeguard the UK's woodland heritage for our future. 

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