Back in 1217, two years after the Magna Carta was written, Henry III signed the Forest Charter. Since then, a lot has changed. Ancient woodland has disappeared at an alarming rate and, according to the Woodland Trust:
“…society in the UK has never been more disconnected from its trees. Individuals are less likely to spend time in woods, including children who are spending more and more time in front of screens at the expense of ‘wild time’. When we spend less time with trees it is easier to ignore the issues they face, and our woods and trees are facing huge threats to their future from pests, diseases, climate change and pressure from development.”
The Long View is inspired by our love of trees and by our wish to get to know them better, and we are keen to stand up for them. So we wanted to share this link to The Charter Story – it tracks changes in UK woodlands and trees and the current threats they face, and suggests ways you can get involved if you want to play a part in the new Charter of 2017, 800 years after the original was written.
One way you can get involved is to share your story about a tree that is special to you, or your views on why trees matter. You can send a story directly to the Charter campaign team through their website, or you can send it to us and we will pass it on. We’re getting a big collection together and loving what’s coming in. You can read some of them, including tales of healing and haunting, on our page dedicated to your Your Remarkable Trees.
And we will soon be adding more from the children we’ve been meeting. Here’s one from a girl who walked with us to The Kentmere Rowan:
“When I was small I wanted to know what type of trees we had in the garden. I found out we had an apple tree. I wasn’t really listening and I thought Mum said there were crabs around it. It turns out what she actually said was that there were fallen down crab apples around it – because it was a crab apple tree. I loved apples so I went outside into the garden, puzzling over the crabs. I went to the tree and spotted an apple. I picked it up to hunt for crabs. Eventually I gave up, having found no crabs, because I was hungry. I went into the kitchen to ask mum to cut it up. Then she told me to throw it into the garden. I only recently realised why.”
If you want to add your story, please do!