A Tree’s Tale

Let me share my story with you. In my lifetime, I’ve provided protection, escape, and inspiration.

I’ve seen countless seasons, witnessed endless wonders of nature, and played my own unique part in bettering thousands of lives.

Yet I am vulnerable. Follow my journey and discover how, by becoming a member of the Woodland Trust, you can help give trees like me a voice.

Loading… Explore my tale

Chapter 1 I’ve sheltered families of all shapes and sizes

I have provided a home to hundreds of wild birds, insects and bats in my time.

Beneath my protective canopy of branches, mosses, lichens and fungi flourish undisturbed.

A carpet of pristine bluebells spreads out across the woodland floor beneath me. Butterflies flutter through my leaves.

Each day, I’m surrounded by the distinctive sounds of nature – by tweeting birds, badgers scraping at soil and the soothing buzz of bees – as the native plants and animals that I provide shelter for live and thrive around me.

I support our wildlife and connect species and plants across the landscape.

£3 a month will give nature a chance by protecting the woodland habitat they need to survive

Become a member and help us
Protect woodland wildlife

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Squirrel, red (Sciurus vulgaris)

Squirrel, red (Sciurus vulgaris)

You can find native red squirrels living in woodland across Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Northumberland and the Lake District, as well as on islands such as Brownsea in Dorset.

They feed on tree seeds and build nests called dreys among the branches, where they rear their young.

The introduction of the grey squirrel from North America has led to red squirrels becoming rare in the UK, not only because they’ve transferred the squirrel pox virus to the reds but because the two breeds compete for the same food sources and habitats – and the larger, stronger greys inevitably win out.

This struggling species relies on trees for survival.

Chapter 2 I’ve taught thousands of kids to climb

For generations, I’ve provided a peaceful place where people are free to run, walk, climb, and explore.

In an increasingly fast-paced world, I form part of a treasured haven, far removed from the hustle of daily life. I act as a reminder of a simpler time; a welcome opportunity to slow down and take a few deep breaths.

I allow families to spend quality time and create their own, unique memories together.

Many knees and elbows have been grazed during attempts to conquer my branches. But the unrivalled feeling of having overcome a challenge – of having gained a little more, all-important independence – has rewarded every child who’s made it to the top.

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Spending time in woodland can help to alleviate the symptoms of some of our most debilitating conditions such as dementia, obesity, heart disease and mental health problems.

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Woodland is amongst the country’s most popular attractions: two thirds of people in England have visited the woods at some point over the last few years.

Giving £5 a month through family membership can provide our children with a lifelong love of nature

Become a member and help us
Preserve family retreats

Chapter 3 I’ve stood for over 400 years as a nation has risen all around me

I have endured through the ages and am older than every building that now surrounds the woods where I live.

I have played my own vital role in sustaining communities and fuelling industry.

I’ve witnessed crusades and coronations. I’ve survived battles and withstood fierce storms.

In my time, entire family trees have expanded and unravelled, alliances have been forged and then broken; endless hearts have been won and lives played out.

The landscape around me has shifted beyond recognition. But I have remained.

I am an irreplaceable part of the fabric of British history.

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Discover Brede High Woods

Chapter 4 But, even with all that I’ve done, I’m still vulnerable to change

As time has passed, seasons have turned and progress has marched on, I’ve become gradually more isolated.

Many of the woods that once surrounded mine have been cut down to make way for rail expansions, housing schemes and urban sprawl. Other trees have been destroyed by disease or been gradually weakened by the fumes, noise, and light pollution caused by modern living.

Trees like me are given little protection by the authorities, meaning a huge number of us are vulnerable to development, climate change, tree pests, poor management and the negative effects of intensive land use.

So many of us have fallen already – and I could well be next.

Ancient woods are irreplaceable, evolving over centuries, yet here we are… facing their destruction to save a few minutes on a train journey. Sustainable, green transport should be welcomed, yet this route announcement confirms the likely damage to at least 94 ancient woods – and is only cause for a wake.

Woodland Trust ecologist
Luci Ryan

£3 a month will help us fight to protect threatened ancient woods

Become a member and help us
Campaign to save woods and trees

Chapter 5 We’re helping trees to stand strong


Members have helped us plant over 34 million trees… so far

As the UK’s largest woodland conservation charity, we’re working tirelessly to not only secure the future of trees that have stood for centuries, but also to replace those already lost.

We believe woodland is just as precious as any work of art or stately home. With your help, we can continue to safeguard trees under threat, bring devastated ancient woodland back from the brink, and create brand new community woods.

We want to ensure our precious woodland ecosystems remain in balance; that a vitally important part of our country’s history isn’t erased forever; and that our children, and our children’s children, and countless generations after, will be able to enjoy our most precious national treasures.

As little as £3 a month can pay for the planting of over 12 native trees in a year

Become a member and help us
Stand up for trees
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See the difference Woodland Trust membership makes

Chapter 6 Together, we can give trees a voice…

Becoming a member of the Woodland Trust is one of the most effective ways to provide regular, ongoing support for the work we do.

Membership starts from just £3 a month and we’ll send you a ‘leaf swatch’ tree identification guide, a directory of over 1,000 woods (which are all free to visit), and four issues of our members’ magazine, Broadleaf, a year.

Rosie from the Woodland Trust

£3 a month will protect, restore and create the woods you love

Help us continue to give trees a voice
Become a member

How would you like to become part of the Woodland Trust family?

Stand up for trees with an adult single membership

Make a bigger impact with a joint membership for two

Get outdoors and discover the beauty of woodland together with our family membership

Transform little explorers into fully-fledged Nature Detectives and set off on a brand new adventure