Stand up for trees this election
We are in the grip of a nature and climate emergency. Those who aspire to be our elected representatives must be ready to act – and trees and woods are their biggest ally.
Credit: Ben Lee / WTML
We want every candidate in this election to commit to a UK rich in woods and trees by promising:
- A major uplift in native tree cover, backed by more funding including funds for the restoration and management of woodlands for the future.
- Protection for irreplaceable ancient wooded habitats and trees, implemented right across government. Protection should extend to major infrastructure projects like HS2.
- World leading environmental legislation, institutions and funding to fight the nature and climate emergency.
Working towards a Greener UK
Along with 13 other major conservation and political voices from across the UK, we have formed the Greener UK coalition. Collectively we bring more than 8 million members and supporters together. That’s a huge voice for nature that can help influence how it takes shape in the future.
We’re in the midst of huge political change. We need the next UK government to go beyond simple safeguarding protections and restore nature and natural resources within a generation, as set out in the Greener UK vision statement.
We must act now to improve the environmental protections and shape a new land use policy for the UK which takes better advantage of the huge benefits woods and trees offer.
December 2018's draft Environment Bill was largely welcomed by us and our Greener UK partners, including the RSPB, National Trust and Friends of the Earth.
At the same time, we recognised its shortcomings and the huge environmental governance gap it left. The general election means the bill has now fallen. Once a new government is in place we will restart our campaigning on environmental legislation to ensure that environmental protections are stronger than ever.
Read the evidence we submitted to the inquiry
We look forward to engaging with the bill as a group as it enters pre-legislative scrutiny by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee and the Environmental Audit Committee.
The Agriculture Bill was introduced in September 2018. Since then we have worked as part of the Greener UK coalition to influence it on its passage through the House of Commons. The bill has passed its first and second readings and on 20 November 2018, it completed passage through the bill committee. In this scrutiny, many ideas are suggested and voted on by a small committee of focused MPs.
As part of this influencing work, we have held meetings in Westminster with MPs and farmers to:
- Convince them of the merits of the Greener UK response to the Agriculture Bill
- Highlight our specific policy requests which emphasise tree planting.
With our help, the Government has defended the bill against attempts to water it down. It has also maintained its focus on restoring the farming environment to a more harmonised state so that it can remain productive for generations to come.
The bill has been paused while we await the announcement of its report stage. After this it will have a third reading, then progress to the House of Lords. In preparation, we're already developing strategies for engagement with peers in the House of Lords. This work will provide further strength and regulatory baselines to the bill.
Explore more of our policy work
Influencing government policy
We work to influence government and policymakers to secure stronger protection for our valued woods and trees.
Policy & influence blogs
Find out about our latest successes and challenges.
Maximising the benefits of woods and trees for local authorities