What a year 2013 has been so far. We have launched an incredible 15 campaigns in the last 12 months! These have ranged from small, short-lived actions (like the Nature in Education campaign to keep woods and trees on our children’s learning agenda), and supporting localised issues (like the Perth Academy tree), right up to complex, jargon-filled, consultation-based campaigns (like the Biodiversity Offsetting campaign) to protect natural spaces, and – most recently – fast-paced, urgent petitions to ensure there will be grants for tree planting in the future.
We have had to work fast to battle threats to woodland from government policy, both at a local level and centrally, as well as from development itself. Woods and trees can really be taken for granted and undervalued. But with your help, over 70,000 individual actions have been taken for woods and trees this year. And that’s not including whatever you may have done yourself, outside of our campaigns, to fight for the woods you love, to raise awareness of threats and get involved in the issues they are facing.
What a fantastic show of support for what we have all been working so hard for – a UK rich in woods and trees enjoyed, and valued, by everyone.
Together we have fought off developers to protect precious woodland and vulnerable trees; made sure that the fate of ancient woodland at risk from HS2 has been on the top of the media’s headlines and within Parliament, and after pushing hard, finally started to see action for England’s public forest estate. And those are just 3 of the amazing outcomes for woodland that we have seen over this year.
Sometimes we haven’t managed to get what we wanted for woods and trees, and in many cases it may be some time until we see a final outcome. But overall, it’s been a pretty darned good year. And it’s been especially wonderful to see so many of you taking part in our actions and sharing your views on the blog and – crucially – letting other folks know about our campaigns so they can take part too.
Please do keep in touch online @woodlandtrust and pop over to our Facebook page to catch our best woodland photos, tips and treats during the holidays. And remember to check out our new-look website for all the woodland news and to get inspiration for woodland walks and more, too.
To send you off feeling festive, I thought you’d enjoy a photo of a rather unique Christmas tree from one of our Creative campaigners, Lynn Mottram – thanks Lynn!
Thank you again for being the voice woods and trees so badly need. Whatever your plans, I would like to wish you all a very merry festive break, and a peaceful and successful 2014.