Last May, thousands of candidates stood for local elections in England and Northern Ireland hoping to represent you. You joined us in urging them to commit to woods and trees and help more people access and enjoy the benefits of trees where they live.

Why are local elections important for nature?

Leafy green, tree filled neighbourhoods are healthier and more enjoyable places to live. Accessible woodlands, high canopy cover and thriving mature street trees bring enormous value for local people in many ways. Your elected councillors have the power to make all this happen.

As well as handling new planting, local authorities make important decisions about development and tree protection in your area. They are the first line of defence for woods and trees. Successful candidates will have influence over how nature is cared for and how the climate and biodiversity crises are addressed – or not - where you live.

Councillors must recognise the value of trees

If you live in Northern Ireland

Please take a look at our Priorities for Local Councils and use these to urge your newly elected representatives to support trees and woods where you live.  

If you live in England

Join us in asking your newly elected representatives to make commitments to woods and trees in your local area. We want to see:

  • a tree strategy in every local authority, as an essential building block for good tree management and woodland expansion.
  • trees in all new developments. As well as adding social and economic value to these new communities, tree-lined streets and nearby woodlands are important for people, nature and our climate.
  • a Local Nature Recovery Strategy. As well as tackling climate change, we must help nature to recover and thrive. To achieve this, trees must be a cornerstone of the forthcoming Local Nature Recovery Strategy for your area.
  • more sites for woodland expansion. Finding new suitable sites for woodland expansion or tree planting is critical to meeting our climate goals. This means assessing all local authority owned sites and working with private landowners.
  • better access to quality community woodlands. Community woods provide social, economic and environmental benefits, contributing to local wellbeing and neighborhood appeal. But people's access to woodland has reduced and where it is available, many woods are not in good condition.

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