UK woods are at crisis point - do this one thing today to help

Ask your mayoral candidates to make woods and trees a top priority

A new report published by the Woodland Trust brings together evidence which highlights a barrage of compounding threats which could have catastrophic consequences for the UKs woods, trees and the flora and fauna within them.

The State of the UK’s Woods and Trees 2021 examines the data and evidence behind the health of the nation’s woods and trees. It is the first of its kind to focus on native woods and trees, which are such an important part of our natural and semi-natural habitats in this country. It shows that 5 major threats are compounding to result in negative impacts that could spell disaster for wildlife including plants, birds, butterflies and insects.

Abi Bunker, Director of Conservation and External Affairs, Woodland Trust said:

The warning signs in this report are loud and clear. If we don’t tackle the threats facing our woods and trees, we will severely damage the UK’s ability to address the climate and nature crises. Our wildlife havens are suffering, and we are storing up problems for future generations.

The major threats include:

  • Poor woodland condition 
  • Climate change affecting woodland lifecycles
  • Direct loss and resulting fragmentation 
  • Pests, diseases and pollution 
  • Slow rate of woodland expansion

Abi Bunker goes on -

“The first step is setting legally binding targets for the recovery of nature, including our precious and irreplaceable ancient woodlands and trees. The Government’s new Environment Bill must provide the foundation for ambitious, effective and well-funded woodland policies and grants so that landowners and communities can protect, restore and create wildlife-rich, healthy wooded and treed landscapes, in towns, cities and the wider countryside. There is no success in hitting creation targets if our existing woods and trees are struggling and in decline.”

Full report here - State of the UK’s Woods and Trees 2021

Ask your mayoral candidates to make woods and trees a top priority

On 6 May 2021, millions of people across eight English city regions will be able to vote for their next mayor. As the elected leader of a city region, these mayors set the local agenda for industry, housing, transport and more.

Over the coming weeks, candidates in these cities will be setting out their priorities. The elections are a vital moment to encourage them to commit to planting and protecting woods and trees where you live. Putting woods and trees high on the political agenda is crucial if we are to help tackle the nature and climate crises and create a brighter future for people and wildlife.


Key recommendations need to be implemented

  • Native woodland must be a major part of woodland expansion, to help nature recover. We need more native woodland connecting and expanding existing woods and replacing lost trees outside woods.
  • Enhance existing woods and trees. Existing native woods and trees must be protected and enhanced to become a source of widespread nature recovery and improve people’s lives.
  • Improve evidence and monitoring.
  • Invest in the future.

A healthy society needs healthy woods and green spaces, not only to help tackle climate change, but also greatly benefits people’s health and wellbeing.