On 6 November 2017, on the 800th anniversary of the 1217 Charter of the Forest, the new Charter for Trees, Woods and People was launched. The launch marked an amazing new chapter for UK trees and woodland and was backed by hundreds of organisations, schools, councils, celebrities, artists and community groups.

Since then, over 600 communities - known as Charter Branches - have joined the movement to embed the Tree Charter principles in their local area.

What are the Tree Charter Principles?

In 2017, more than 70 organisations and 300 community groups collected over 60,000 stories from people sharing what they valued about their woods and trees. These helped define the 10 Principles of the Tree Charter, ensuring that it stands for every tree and every person in the UK:

  1. Sustain landscapes rich in wildlife
  2. Plant for the future
  3. Celebrate the power of trees to inspire
  4. Grow forests of opportunity and innovation
  5. Protect irreplaceable trees and woods
  6. Plan greener local landscapes
  7. Recover health, hope and wellbeing with the help of trees
  8. Make trees accessible to all
  9. Combat the threats to our habitats
  10. Strengthen our landscapes with trees.

What is a Charter Branch?

Charter Branches are local heroes, students, organisations, councils or other community groups that take action to embed the Tree Charter principles in their area. This can take many forms, including joining citizen science projects, planting trees, or campaigning to protect those already there.

Get involved

Use our map to find your nearest Charter Branch, or join the movement by starting your own branch! Sign up to our programme of activities and campaigns for community groups or read our Tree Charter toolkit for practical ideas and tips.

You can also request more information by emailing charter@woodlandtrust.org.uk

Celebrate National Tree Week

In the last week of November each year, National Tree Week is the UK’s largest annual celebration for woods and trees. Organised by the Tree Council, it’s a fantastic opportunity to embed the Charter Principles by joining or hosting an event in your area.

Inspiration for Charter Branch activities

See how the Tree Charter is connecting people and woods

We were grateful for a small 3-year Heritage Lottery Fund grant in 2017 that helped us launch the Tree Charter and embed the principles into society, so its message can’t be ignored.

The programme was led by the Tree Charter Board, a collaboration of 13 organisations:

  • Black Environment Network
  • Common Ground
  • ConFor
  • Landscape Institute
  • Llais y Goedwig
  • National Union of Students
  • National Association of Local Councils
  • Northern Ireland Environment Link
  • Royal Forestry Society
  • Sylva Foundation
  • The Tree Council
  • Centre for Sustainable Health Care
  • Woodland Trust