Why we need a better philosophy of trees


On November 6 1217, Henry III’s Charter of the Forest gave ordinary English people back their traditional rights to use royal hunting grounds for livestock grazing and collecting firewood.

The freedoms that were restored in the use of ancient woodland reshaped the community’s legal and political relationship with nature.

Ele 1aBut, today, this relationship has broken down.

Only 2% of the UK’s ancient woodland survives; over half has been destroyed since the 1930s.

Only 13% of the UK is covered with trees, compared to the European average of 37%.

And so exactly 800 years on, in Lincoln Castle, home of the…

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