The launch of The Tree Charter... we have lift off!
A very exciting new leaf has turned in the history of the relationship between people and trees.
The Charter for Trees, Woods and People was developed over several years, combining the expertise of over 70 organisations representing a whole host of sectors, as well as thousands of people across the UK who provided their input, thoughts and ‘tree stories’.
The Tree Council, who were involved in its development, along with over 750 people recently attended the much anticipated celebrations to launch The Charter on the 6th of November, 2017 at Lincoln Castle.
The Charter will remain here, alongside the 800 year old ‘Charter of the Forest’, and within the grounds of the Castle, 1 of 11 carved wooden pole installations will act as a reminder of its legacy.
Those attending the launch were treated to a number of inspiring and motivating speakers from a variety of organisations including CEO of the Woodland Trust, Beccy Speight. Gabriel Hemery, who cycled 170 miles from Runnymede to Lincoln to promote The Charter with 8 other cyclists, also spoke about the on route visits to schools where they planted trees with children, before arriving in time for the launch.
Poems by Harriet Fraser and Sophie Mckeand, whose words are carved into the Charter Poles, were recited, and we listened to the beautifully sung, tree-inspired, composition of Simeon Hammond Dallas.
Joining the throngs that had gathered outside Lincoln’s Cathedral, we were met by a merry bunch of medieval characters beating out rhythms into the night, with Robin Hood leading the way. With paper lanterns held high on branches lighting our path, and music filling the chilly air, our procession to the Castle was joyfully made.
Inside the Castle grounds, the main Charter pole was unveiled and television and radio presenter Clive Anderson, The Mayor of Lincoln Chris Burke, and the carver of the pole Simon Clements, gave entertaining speeches that highlighted the important responsibilities we all have to protect, grow and care for trees.
In addition to the festivities of drinking mulled wine and having a go at turning wood the old fashioned way, we had the privilege of viewing of the 800 year old The Charter of the Forest and the new Charter, both written in traditional Oak gall ink, within the Castle itself. Hundreds of people queued to sign a memorial book to show their support for the Charter, as you can do here.
The last Saturday in November each year is to become national ‘Tree Charter Day’ - which local communities, schools, organisations and individuals can use to reinvigorate the relationship between people and trees. ‘Tree Charter Day’ will always take place within The Tree Council’s National Tree Week so now there’ll be double the reason to celebrate!
More Charter Poles are being installed around the UK, many of them with their own festivities and celebrations during National Tree Week. Look out for the olive green pin on our events map; from Cardiff to Belfast, and the New Forest to Sherwood Forest, there’s opportunities to see the unveiling of a pole near you!