Annual review 2020-21
Our latest annual review covers the Trust's work from January 2020 to May 2021. Here we report back on 10 of our major milestones and the difference we made for woods and trees.
We couldn’t do the work we do without financial support. And when you give to us, we want you to be confident we’re spending your money wisely.
Everything we do is an investment in the future, and every penny you give us will protect the woods and trees you love.
Whether it helps with the on-going costs of looking after the woods in our care or buys threatened ancient woodland, there is much your money can achieve.
It's been a difficult year for everyone.
Lockdown taught us how vital woods and wildlife are. Hugging trees was easier than hugging people. Green spaces provided an escape and we realized the healing power of the natural world around us.
Because of you we've been able to achieve so much. You've helped us transform landscapes landscapes that nurture and protect havens for wildlife. You've helped us give trees a voice, saving ancient woodland from destruction.
You've helped us provide for others, inspiring the next generation and helping us bring the great outdoors indoors when it mattered most.
You're helping recognize that trees play a vital role in improving our world now and for future generations.
Soon behalf of the woods, trees and wildlife we all care so much about, thank you.
£30.6 million spent
Over 40% of our outlay in 2020–21 went on extending the nation’s canopy cover, and £3.3 million funded the trees themselves. Every one was sourced and grown in the UK and Ireland, as the Trust continues to set the agenda on sustainable native woodland creation, free of imported pests and diseases.
We committed 250,000 saplings to Stump Up For Trees, a drive to pepper the Brecon Beacons with vibrant new woodland, and we’ve a similar number going to Northern Ireland Water, as it bids to plant a million trees by 2030.
£17.3 million spent
Around half of Britain’s surviving ancient woodland has been damaged by post-war conifer plantations or infested with exotic shrubs like rhododendron. The Trust’s mission to nurse it back to health continues apace: in 2020 we narrowly topped our target to move 886 hectares of woods back into conservation management, and in 2021 we launched our partnership with the National Trust to reclaim almost 1,000 hectares more.
One eyecatching new restoration project is the Saving Scotland’s Rainforest partnership, which sets out to rescue 30,000 surviving hectares of one of the country’s rarest ecosystems, spreading along Scotland’s western seaboard. It is home to globally threatened lichens, liverworts, fungi and ferns, not to mention special species like the chequered skipper butterfly.
£15.4 million spent
The Trust’s tireless efforts to defend trees and woodland in peril saw us campaign on 86% of the cases that crossed our desk in 2020–21. We saved veteran oak trees facing the axe in Cheltenham and South West London, for example, and helped put paid to a proposed M4/A48 road link in the Vale of Glamorgan, which would have endangered no fewer than six ancient woods.
On the national stage, we put down a successful amendment in Parliament forcing the company building HS2 to report annually on the railway’s impact on ancient woodland. To date the Trust’s advocacy has helped save 14 hectares of ancient woodland from destruction by HS2 – equivalent to the size of 22 football fields.
Read the latest in our campaigns news.
£12.8 million spent
This sum includes the cost of recruiting new donors, and over this 17-month period more than 380,000 people supported the Trust financially – heartfelt thanks to one and all.
Overall we invested 83p in every pound received in our charitable objectives, a penny more than in 2019 and 3p more than the year before.
The Trust purposely spent less than our income to boost reserves for future investment in our cause. And note that during 2020 we agreed to shift our year-end financial reporting date from December to May, in line with the annual tree planting season, which ends in April.
More detail on our income and expenditure can be found in our annual review and report and accounts.
The Woodland Trust is regulated by the Charity Commission and is a registered charity number 294344 in England and Wales and by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, registered charity number SC038885 in Scotland.
Our work is funded by our dedicated members and supporters, gifts in wills, grants, trusts and partners. Here we outline what we raised in the last financial period and breakdown where it came from.
We were established in 1972 and we are now the UK's largest woodland conservation charity.
In 1972, something truly special happened. Find out how we came to be and how we're taking on the future.
We are the Woodland Trust. We plant, protect, restore and manage woods and trees.