State of the UK's Woods and Trees 2021 - Woodland Trust

State of the UK’s Woods and Trees 2021 is the first report of its kind laying out the facts and trends on the current state of the UK's native woods and trees.

A good understanding of their current state will enable us all to realise their vital role in tackling climate change, improving our wellbeing, and recovering nature.

From the wealth of data presented in this inaugural report, here is a summary of our key findings, the facts behind the story, and priority actions.

At a glance - key findings

Our analysis has identified four significant findings about the state of woods and trees.

1. Woodland cover is gradually increasing, but woodland wildlife is decreasing

The trends for the UKs woods and trees are concerning. The UK’s woodland cover has more than doubled in the last 100 years, but much of this is non-native trees. Existing native woodlands are isolated, in poor ecological condition and there has been a decline in woodland wildlife.

2. Woods and trees are vital for a healthy, happy society

They lock up carbon to fight climate change, improve our health, wellbeing and education, reduce pollution and flooding, and support people, wildlife and livestock.

3. Woods and trees are subject to a barrage of coinciding threats

Threats range from direct woodland loss to more insidious influences from climate impacts, imported diseases, invasive plants, mammal browsing and air pollutants.

4. Not nearly enough is being done

The report is a loud and clear warning sign that more needs to be done to protect and expand our woods and trees. We urgently need to scale up the many inspiring initiatives to create native woods, put more individual trees back in the landscape, and restore damaged woods.

Priority actions

As a result of these findings, in order to help the UK’s woods, trees, wildlife and people, we recommend the following priority actions.

Download the full report

Posted on: 14 April 2021

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