What is an ‘important tree’?

Good question! It’s really not as simple as it sounds. A key focus for this Defra funded project is establishing a set of characteristics and criteria to determine how we define an “important tree”. Ancient, veteran and heritage trees are all important, but so are those with social, cultural and/or environmental value. We’ll be working with partners to identify the gaps in current legislation, determine criteria and deliver recommendations around value and protection.

What are we doing?

We are working closely with Fera, Forest Research, Defra, those who own and manage important trees, local authorities, key sector organisations, and a wide range of stakeholders, to gather evidence and insight. The Tree Council and Forest Research are leading workshops and structured discussions, and analysing current legislation and protections. If findings point towards changes to policy or legislation, then those recommendations will be proposed to Government – but there are a likely to be a range of options to consider.

Why Trees Outside Woodlands?

The importance of Trees Outside Woodlands – those in parks, on streets, in gardens, on farms, even hedgerow trees – is increasingly widely recognised for all the social, cultural and environmental benefits they bring. We know these trees matter to many people and deliver essential climate and nature benefits. This project gives us an opportunity to review current protections and start thinking about ways to improve them, or add to them, so trees outside woodlands can be better protected and managed for the future.

Stay in touch about this project

If you have any questions about the project, please contact info@treecouncil.org.uk