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2017: The Year of the Trees

January 18th, 2017

Stuart Low

Many thanks to Jonathan Woolley for this post about the Woodland Trust initiative Charter for Trees which OBOD is very happy to be supporting. Read on and see how you can get involved…


There is less than one year to go until the launch of the Charter for Trees; People and Woods, an initiative lead by the Woodland Trust, and backed by OBOD, alongside a constellation of other community groups, charities, industry bodies, government agencies, and faith groups. The aim of the Charter is to reaffirm the connection the communities of Britain have with our trees, to celebrate the blessings these gentle giants grant us, while also laying out a vision for how our relationship with them might grow and deepen in the future. Finally, and most importantly, the Charter will serve to acknowledge the responsibility that we all have to care for our trees and woodlands; to ensure that they can weather the many dangers they now face.

We’ll be celebrating the Charter’s launch in November 2017, which will be marked by a whole range of events up and down the country, from tree planting, to wood fairs; from art installations, to workshops on woodcarving. OBOD members, and our friends in the BDO and the Druid Network are currently working hard to conjure up some truly magical contributions to the festivities. In the coming months, we’ll be announcing them here and on Facebook, to help the wider family of OBOD members to get involved. There will be a range of activities and initiatives throughout 2017 across the Charter network, so keep your eyes and ears open as the wheel turns!

We need your help!
There are many ways in which you can support the Charter. The most important of which is to add your voice to the chorus of tens of thousands of those who have already spoken up. The Woodland Trust is gathering together the memories, hopes, fears, and stories people have about trees, and will feed them into the wording and content of the Charter. What’s your first memory of a woodland? What do trees mean to you? And what do you want to see protected for future generations? There is only a few weeks to go before the consultation ends, so don’t delay – share your thoughts on the Charter website now!

The second thing you can do is to contribute to the planting of trees. The Order has its own Sacred Groves Project – as a part of this, we will soon be launching a fundraising initiative. We’ll be hoping to raise a total of £750 to sponsor a plot with an innovative tree-planting project at the Sylva Foundation in South Oxfordshire.

If you’re really excited by the potential of the Charter, or you’re already running a woodland or tree-oriented group, you might like to set up a Charter Branch in your local area or become a Charter Champion. We need to get communities right across the country involved; Druids are perfectly placed to usher in a new culture of stewardship and affection for our forests. The Woodland Trust can provide funding, support, and advice for whatever tree-ish things you’re looking to do: so don’t be afraid to register! 

If you’d like to find out more, or if you have any ideas about cherishing our sacred trees that you’d like immortalised in the Charter, please get in touch with Jonathan Woolley at

First Image by Stuart Low:

source: Fairytale Forest Photography

One Response to “2017: The Year of the Trees”

  1. So encouraging to see this, your great tree appreciation, tree delight, tree adoration, and tree care and efforts at tree planting and stewardship on display from a continent and an ocean away. Trees and our planet are being harmed by human behavior – but that’s not the whole story. At this same tumultuous time — and perhaps in part BECAUSE of it — more people feel called to turn to nature for calm, for mental health and spiritual renewal. All we humans have this in common, no matter our country, ethnicity, political views. May the forests be with us! — And may WE all be with the forests. – Jack Gescheidt, founder, The TreeSpirit Project (

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