The Woodland Trust
– the UK’s largest forest and trees charity with over 250,000 members. Nearing
50 years since its creation in 1972, the charity is focused on protecting
ancient woodlands, creating and maintaining resilient landscapes, and planting
and protecting native species. According to its own accounts, it has planted 42
million trees and currently owns over 1000 publicly accessible sites, covering over 24,700
hectares (247 km2),
of which a third is estimated to be ancient woodland. The Trust co-ordinates
campaigns, undertakes research – such as this Iconic oak research – and supports regional hubs from
its HQ in Grantham. To advance its aims it works in partnership with other wood
focused organisations and companies, at community, business, and political
The Woodland Trust Grantham HQ, designed by FCB
Studios, was one of the practices first CLT projects and opened in 2010.
The Wildlife Trust – this grassroots charity is one of the best-known organisations serving a UK wide nature reserve network. Although not specifically focused on woodlands and trees, the Wildlife Trust’s aim of bringing people into a closer relationship with the natural environment very much involves the wooded dimension. With 850,000 members, over 2300 nature reserves, and 46 semi-independent Wildlife Trusts across the UK, the Trust is a leading source of nature connection for many people. These individual Trust networks represent counties, with 37 in England, 5 in Wales, and a single umbrella trust in Scotland, which together also include over 100 visitor and education centres. See also Scotland and Wales.
Tree Council –
describing themselves as tree
champions, they support making trees matter in communities, encouraging
people to become involved with trees and providing research and information on
current tree related issues, such as combatting tree diseases.
Royal Forestry Society – is the oldest of the wood and trees related charities, founded in 1882, with a core focus on woodland management. With a network of regional centres the RFS maintains an educational programme spanning foresters and woodland managers, training future foresters, children, and young people. The society also carries out research, organises conferences and events, produces regular publications and reports, and also the quarterly Journal of Forestry.
Ancient Tree Forum – a specialist tree organisation engaged in protecting ancient and veteran trees. The Forum is involved in bringing attention to old trees and their value to the public and communities, offering guidance on their care, undertaking research, training, and events that share and foster broader knowledge and awareness, including at the lobbying policy levels. It also conducts surveys and recording of ancient trees, and contributes to the Ancient Tree Inventory programme co-led by the Woodland Trust and the Tree Register.
Future Trees Trust – emerged in 2008 out of the British and Irish Hardwood Improvement Programme and is at the forefront of tree genetics research and testing a variety of native hardwoods with a focus on improving the quality of hardwood tree species to potentially add to the species of trees available as timber resources. The hardwood species under research are ash, birch, cherry, sweet chestnut, oak, sycamore, and walnut.
Tree Improvement Inventory – the Future Trees Trust
is a founding partner (with Confor and Forest Research). Its strategy and
programme is outlined here.
Living Ash Project and Action Oak – of which Future Trees are also members.
British and Irish Hardwood Improvement
Programme (BIHIP) – was founded in 1991 after identifying a need for
improving the genetics of British broadleaf tree species after a century of
neglect and felling. The vast majority of Britain’s deciduous trees, including
the healthiest and most resilient, were felled as part of the World War I war
effort. The then newly created Forestry Commission focused on conifer
plantation and afforestation until the 1980s, and what modest early deciduous
planting had occurred was again felled during World War II, leaving the
relatively small broadleaf woodlands and trees low in biological and genetic
Continuous Cover Forest Groupu (CCFG) – national membership-based network which promotes the approach and principles of continuous cover, or ‘close to nature’, forest management, as a low impact forestry and silvicultural system. Membership includes forest site visits, web-newsletters and workshops. The group is also connected to related and like-minded international organisations.
– forester and wood activist Gabriel Hemery is the
brains behind the Foundation,
an Oxfordshire based education charity. It spans scientific forestry research, dissemination
of knowledge for the general public and at educational levels, wood-based
craft, design, and building. With a Wood Centre hosting its Wood School,
various web-based platforms like MyForest,
and outreach educational community projects like Forest
Schools for All,
alongside a broad spectrum of research and other professional
services, the Sylva Foundation provides a cross-disciplinary approach to
forestry, woods, and trees.
Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF)- a professional body representing arboricultural specialists and foresters in the UK. With over 1800 members, the Institute provides support, guidance, information, professional development, and oversees professional standards for becoming a chartered arboriculturalist or forester. With a network of regional groups the ICF hosts regular events, conferences, and online resources.
– one of the core voices of those involved in the recreational and amenity tree
world. At nearly sixty years old, it supports arbiculturalists and tree
surgeons as well as a growing membership with the arrival and mainstreaming of
the public sector arboricultural professionals, such as tree officers. The
Association provides training, events, courses, and accreditation alongside
Agroforestry Research Trust –
a hub for agroforestry expertise, information, courses, events
related to drawing together and growing both woodland and horticultural crops
on the same land. It oversees the Forest Garden Greenhouse and other projects, conducts research,
hosts the Agroforestry and Forest Garden Network,
and provides a sales outlet for
tree and plants.
Woodland Heritage – founded by a group of traditional cabinet makers aiming to improve the way in which trees are, grown, maintained, and harvested in the UK. With their own Whitney Sawmill, the Hereford based group runs a variety of projects. These include regular workshops, supporting the cross-fertilisation of forestry with design, craft, and the use of hardwoods through courses and workshops which familiarise participants in the whole life cycle of woody materials, participation in the Action Oak project and research into free growth silviculture. The organisation publishes an annual Woodland Heritage Journal.
Permaculture Association – representing proponents of permaculture, the popular grassroots approach to land management, the Association naturally includes woodlands and wood growing within its philosophical approach to working and designing with nature. Permaculture includes a built fabric dimension, which is discussed further below, although in woodland management terms its principles are closely aligned to agroforestry and Forest Gardening in particular.
National Coppicing Federation–
formed in 2013 to provide a unified voice for coppicers, (coppicing is a
method of pruning trees and their branches to enable the tree to grow
more fully and healthily), it aims to highlight the varied benefits of
coppicing as an approach to managing woodlands, disseminate best
practice, information and resources, with the website featuring regional groups in different parts of the country.