Woods, trees and the many benefits they provide for people and wildlife have rarely been so much in the public eye. At a local level, the Covid-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns led many people to seek comfort, space and inspiration in nearby green spaces. At a national and international level, it is recognised that woods and trees have a crucial role to play as a nature-based solution to the climate and nature crises.
Yet this new report shows that the UK’s woods and trees are themselves approaching a crisis point, with declines in woodland wildlife, increasing pressure from pests and diseases, and loss of ancient woodlands and trees outside woods.
We need urgent action from governments, woodland managers and individuals across the UK to enable native woods and trees to become a source of widespread nature recovery and improve people’s lives. This report has come at a crucial time in which we need to track change, target action and measure progress towards achieving landscapes rich in woods and trees for people and wildlife.