Storybook featuring pictures of trees

Celebrate the power of trees to inspire

Stories have always grown on trees. Artists are drawn to their intricacies. Woods are rooted in memories, but it’s the leaf mould of tales told that nourishes future growth. The poetry of trees is always living, for every older work sends out new shoots. We grow attached to trees in books and learn to look for them in life. We feel connected to trees we know and love to see them painted well. Celebrate Tree Charter Day each year to strengthen this cultural legacy and help our living traditions thrive.


  1. A national day for trees, woods and people
    Trees deserve to be celebrated. Each year the whole of UK society should unite in celebrating the value and importance of trees and woods to people. On the last Saturday in November each year, as part of National Tree Week, local communities, schools, organisations and individuals should mark a national ‘Tree Charter Day’ with activities and events that celebrate and reinvigorate the relationship between people and trees.

  2. Preserve our woodland culture
    The skills, trades, pastimes and traditions around woods and trees reflect the important role of woods and trees in the development of our society. This rich heritage should be remembered, celebrated and practically experienced by being embedded in the school curriculum and made visible and accessible to people of all ages.

  3. Celebrate trees and woods in the arts
    The role of trees in the development of our society is captured in our cultural heritage, and has lessons for our future. The role of trees in inspiring art, music and literature throughout history should be recognised and celebrated in schools and through museums, galleries and libraries.

  4. Recognise trees as living heritage
    The cultural, historical and emotional significance of specific trees, woods and parklands to people, locally and nationally, should be recorded and made available to all through a national database. Evidence of the cultural value of trees and woods should inform decisions around local planning and good management.

  5. Consider our future tree heritage
    The trees and woods around us are clues to the historical and cultural context that led to them being planted, protected, managed or ignored. Decisions about tree planting and management today should be based on an understanding of the area’s past, and with a mind to the future. Decisions should be recorded for posterity in local records to give cultural context to the landscape for future generations.

  6. Respect and strengthen local identity
    The species, location and management of trees and woods can impact on the spirit of place. Planting and management choices should respect local cultural associations, traditions, heritage and history.

  7. Bring beauty to our landscapes
    All people should have a right to natural beauty in their lives and landscapes, including the inspiring sensory experience of varied species of tree and the wildlife that they support. Landscapes in which people live and work should be enhanced wherever appropriate with beautiful mature trees.

  8. Celebrate and preserve our rich orchard heritage
    Orchard traditions provide fun ways for communities to remember and strengthen the long-standing relationship between people, trees and pollinators, as demonstrated by fruit-growing. Orchard traditions should be nurtured, supported and celebrated, including Apple Day on October 21st and traditional orchard wassailing in early January.

  9. Provide common roots for multicultural communities
    Many tree species have deep roots in local history and tradition yet can be found in other countries and communities around the world. The diverse cultural associations of trees should be shared in schools and through local celebrations to bring multicultural communities together and foster a sense of belonging in the natural landscape.
  • Right to Beauty
    ResPublica’s Right to Beauty report argues for the restoration and democratisation of beauty in public policy.
    Read more
  • Trees for Nature
    This Forestry Commission research note looked at valuing the social and environmental contribution of woodlands and trees in England, Scotland and Wales.
    Read more
  • Community Perceptions of The National Forest
    The views of local people on the creation of the National Forest and how the surrounding area is changing as a result are explored in this report by the project.
    Read more