Important update

As Parliament is now dissolved for the General Election on 4 July, the APPG for Woods and Trees no longer exists. We will return with the new Parliament.

Tuesday 19 March 2024

The meeting began with an AGM whereby Trudy Harrison MP was voted in as Chair. The meeting's main topic of discussion was tree planting and woodland creation, with contributions from Cathy Maguire from the Office for Environmental Protection, Woodland Trust's Andy Allen, and Anna Brown of the Forestry Commission. Shadow Defra Minister, Toby Perkins also attended and spoke about Labour’s position on this topic.

Parliamentary and external attendees included:

  • Trudy Harrison MP (Chair)
  • Simon Baynes MP
  • Barry Gardiner MP
  • Margaret Greenwood MP
  • Lord Carrington
  • Lord David Clark of Windermere
  • The Bishop of Ipswich
  • Anna Brown (Forestry Commission)
  • Cathy Maguire (Office for Environmental Protection)

For more details and attendees, read the meeting minutes.

For any questions, contact

24 January 2024

The meeting focused on the launch of the UK tree equity score tool and Baroness Young of Old Scone’s Heritage Trees Bill. There was engaging discussion throughout the meeting and further actions for the Woodland Trust to take forward. Parliamentary and external attendees included:

  • Simon Baynes (Chair of APPG)
  • Trudy Harrison MP
  • Baroness Young of Old Scone
  • Earl of Leicester
  • Pierre Orsini on behalf of Catherine West
  • Jon Stokes from the Tree Council
  • Rusell Horsey, independent tree expert.

27 June 2023

The meeting focused on the launch of the Trust's new policy report, Trees and Woods at the Heart of Nature Recovery in England. The meeting was attended by a number of Parliamentarians and stakeholders, who engaged in fruitful discussions regarding the report's key findings. The session concluded with a question-and-answer segment.

Speakers included:

  • Simon Baynes MP, APPG Chair
  • Abi Bunker, Director of Conservation and External Affairs, Woodland Trust
  • Louise Wilkinson, Lead Policy Advocate for Nature Recovery and author of the report
  • Alex Sobel, Shadow Minister for the Natural Environment
  • Baroness Barbara Young of Old Scone, Woodland Trust Chair.

Simon Baynes MP, Chair of the APPG, remarked:

‘It was a pleasure to host the Woodland Trust for their report launch in my capacity as the Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Woods and Trees. The event was well attended with a wide variety of speakers who contributed towards the discussion. I would like to thank my fellow Parliamentarians for taking the time to attend, as well as the Trust’s team for their assistance in organising this event.’

26 April 2023

At the APPG's AGM meeting, led by Chair Simon Baynes MP, the group discussed:

  • Government’s road strategy
  • future funding for woodland creation in England
  • ideas for future meetings

8 February 2023

Led by newly elected Chair Simon Baynes MP and attended by over a dozen parliamentarians and their staff, the group discussed:

  • the Environmental Improvement Plan recently published by Government
  • the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, currently progressing through the House of Lords and impacts planning policy
  • our Living Legends campaign
  • a forward look at 2023, including our forthcoming nature recovery report, HS2 and the net zero review.

2016 - 2022

20 December 2022

The APPG held an EGM after its previous Chair Jason McCartney MP stepped down. Simon Baynes MP was nominated and subseqently unanimously approved by attendees.

27 April 2022

At the AGM, Jason McCartney MP was re-elected Chair. A number of members were elected as vice chairs or officers.

The group discussed:

  • progress on Government's ancient woodland protection commitments, land use policy in the UK, and Government's Environment Act targets consultation process
  • the upcoming COP15 Convention on Biodiversity conference
  • commercial aspects of growing trees.

19 January 2022

The APPG discussed some of 2021's big moments for nature, woods and trees and looked ahead to 2022, including:

  • Nature Green Paper: Delays to Government's Nature Green Paper  and what is expected to be included. Opportunities around long established woodland and Plantations on Ancient Woodland Sites (PAWS) were identified and the benefits of growing trees in the right place was emphasised. The importance of UK & Ireland Sourced and Grown (UKISG) in providing these trees was also raised.
  • ancient woodland protection commitments: Agreed the need to maintain pressure on Government to deliver ancient woodland protection promises secured during the Environment Act process.
  • woodland tree targets: The need to get targets right was discussed as well as the benefits to biodiversity, climate change and nature recovery goals. An 8-week consultation is expected soon.

October 2021

The group discussed:

  • Environment Bill: The Bill would return to the House of Commons the following day (20 October) for MPs to consider changes made in the House of Lords. This included a cross-party amendment on the protection of ancient woodland from development, as well as a number of other amendments which would help protect nature.
  • COP26: The global climate conference, hosted in Glasgow next month, is an important opportunity for the UK to show leadership on tackling the nature and climate crises together.
  • Queen’s Green Canopy: The Trust is supporting the Queen's Green Canopy initiative created to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022 which invites people from across the UK to “Plant a Tree for the Jubilee”. The Trust is providing free tree packs to schools and community groups and encouraging landowners to plant trees as part of the initiative.

April 2021

At a virtual AGM, the group held annual elections. Jason McCartney was re-elected as chair. All members of the group were elected as vice chairs, including new faces from across the political spectrum and the UK.

A summary of the State of the UK's Woods and Trees 2021 was presented and many members expressed backing for the report. A number of MPs and Peers have since used it in debates and parliamentary questions to press the Government over its findings.

February 2021

In another virtual meeting, the group of 18 focused on: 

  • COP26: Hosting the UN Climate Change Conference in November is an opportunity for the UK to show environmental leadership. Key to delivering the aims of COP26, the group discussed:
  • Trees for natural flood management: Tree planting, hedgerows and land management are vital flood management tools and the Trust has a decade of experience dealing with flood management. Restoration efforts are needed landscape scale and education and consistent public messaging are key.

September 2020

Representatives from across the Houses of Parliament discussed:

  • England Tree Strategy response: the APPG response to the England Tree Strategy consultation was agreed and will be sent by letter to the responsible Government minister.
  • Planning reforms: Rebecca Pullinger presented the proposals in the Planning White Paper and outlined the Trust’s main concerns. The chair agreed to hold another meeting before the consultation ends in October and to invite the planning minister.
  • Opportunities across the UK: The Welsh Government announced £106m investment in the rural economy over the next three years, including woodland creation and restoration. We’ll look to influence this. The Scottish Government announced its Programme for Government, including increasing tree planting to 18,000ha a year by 2024 and extra funding for forestry and nursery sectors. Scotland has been a pioneer with its ambitious tree planting targets, so this was a key message for politicians who may be able to influence Government to improve its own commitments.

July 2020

An Extraordinary General Meeting was held to elect a new chair, as previous chair, Alex Chalk MP, has become a minister. 11 MPs and two Peers attended the meeting.

  • Elections: Jason McCartney was unanimously voted in as chair. Several vice chairs were also elected from across the political spectrum.
  • England Tree Strategy: The Trust team set out our position on the strategy. The chair will continue to seek a parliamentary debate on the strategy.
  • Opportunities and challenges from the economic recovery proposals: The Prime Minister’s mention of £40m green jobs funding is welcome, yet only about half of the green recovery narrative has progressed. We hope to see more on the natural environment from the Chancellor in autumn. The Prime Minister’s ‘radical reform’ of planning caused concern - the APPG fought hard to improve planning policy and this mustn’t be reversed.
  • Bill updates: The Environment Bill Committee Report date is 29 September. Dan Jarvis MP has tabled an amendment that would put the England Tree Strategy on a legal footing within the Bill, and require the setting of targets and 10-year reviews. Chris Clarkson MP tabled a Tree-lined Streets Bill as a Ten Minute Rule Bill which has a second reading in October.  

January 2020

Attended by 21 MPs and 3 peers, the APPG changed its name to the APPG for Woods and Trees. Its remit changed to:

  • responding to the challenges of a changing world
  • raising awareness of the UK’s woods and trees.

Alex Chalk MP was elected chair and Mike Hill MP, Dame Cheryl Gillan MP and Michael Fabricant MP as vice-chairs. Our Emergency Tree Plan was introduced and updates were given on recent work with local authorities and threats to ancient woods, including HS2.

March 2019

John Grogan MP was elected new vice chair and Alex Chalk MP vice-chair. The APPG discussed: 

  • efforts to fund ancient woodland mapping with the Ancient Woodland Inventory (England) Bill, presented to Parliament by APPG member Michael Fabricant MP in January. 
  • how improved protection through the revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) has made a difference.
  • the need for more scrutiny of the Oxford-Cambridge Expressway, which threatens at least 383 ancient woods.

October 2018

Rebecca Pow was re-elected chair and Angela Smith, Michael Fabricant and David Warburton as vice chairs. The group discussed how emerging biosecurity threats could impact ancient woods and trees and the need for greater support for the Ancient Woodland Inventory. It also considered how the £4bn Oxford-Cambridge Expressway and HS2 plans will affect ancient woods.

April 2018

With Housing Minister Dominic Raab in attendance, MPs took the opportunity to press home the importance of stronger protection for ancient trees and woods.

July 2017

After Government promised to strengthen ancient woodland protection in its Housing White Paper, the group agreed actions to make sure this was delivered. Rebecca Pow was re-elected as Chair.

December 2016

At the AGM, SNP MP, John McNally was elected co-chair alongside existing chair Rebecca Pow. Mims Davies MP was also elected as vice-chair. We presented the results of our survey to planners on ancient woodland.

March 2016

Our president, Clive Anderson, captivated members as the keynote speaker. Following an update from Chair, Rebecca Pow MP, Clive talked about his love for trees and woods and why it’s vital legislators recognise their importance and protect them for future generations.

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