Trees rooted in layers of soil

Strengthen our landscapes with trees

From roots that bind and enrich the soil to leaves that shade and shelter, from locking carbon into timber and purifying air and water, trees make our landscapes better. Rising water swells and floods, so strengthen riverbanks with roots. Bare hills need trees to keep the soil stable, to slow the flow of nature's deluge, to shelter sheep or shade the cattle. The right tree in the right place earns its keep again and again. As farmers and landowners benefit from woods, the country will be strengthened in the years ahead.


  1. Research the impact of trees in the landscape
    Landscape-scale decision-making must be informed by latest evidence and research into the impact of trees, woods and hedges. The role of hedges and trees outside woods in carbon sequestration, flood prevention and improving water quality needs to be better understood and factored into government policy on planning, planting and maintenance subsidies and in developing new markets.

  2. Enable a joined-up approach to land management
    We need an integrated rural land management policy for the UK that ensures that decisions made concerning agriculture, conservation, planning and forestry are coordinated and complimentary to each other.

  3. Value trees for all of the benefits they bring
    Habitat and ecosystem value of trees should factor into calculations of compensation planting or restoration for loss. This means considering species variety, age and location, not just number of trees or hectares of woodland cover.

  4. Maximise the role of trees in flood prevention
    The potential for trees to help reduce flood risk should be better researched and reflected in land management policy.

  5. Improve waterways with trees
    The role of trees beside waterways in improving fish stocks and strengthening banks should be researched, promoted and supported.

  6. Recognise and encourage the role of trees on farms
    Agroforestry and farming practices that enhance and protect tree cover such as the use of shelter belts and shade trees should be promoted and supported to ensure that agriculture is not in conflict with the need for tree cover.

  7. Recognise and support custodians of valuable landscapes
    Quantify and value ecosystem services and reward landowners and managers for their role in safeguarding these benefits for society.

  • Climate Change Accord
    A number of signatories across the sector have committed to the Climate Change Accord - a call for resilient forests, woods and trees.
    Read more
  • Brussels Briefing
    The 2013 Brussels Briefing discussed agricultural resilience in the face of crisis and shocks.
    Read more
  • Forests and climate change
    Statistics and publications examining the effects of climate change on forests across the UK are available from the Forestry Commission.
    Read more
  • Trees in urban areas
    The Trees and Design Action Group have produced a number of publications on trees in urban areas, including Trees in Hard Landscapes and Trees in the Townscape.
    Read more
  • Trees in Towns
    The Department for Communities and Local Government commissioned a report into the condition and management of urban trees.
    Read more