7th August 2017
City of London signs ATF Concordat
The City of London Corporation and the Ancient Tree Forum have committed to working together to protect the UK’s ancient and other veteran trees and to safeguard future generations of old and precious trees, by jointly signing the ATF’s Concordat.
The document was signed and sealed at Epping Forest, during the ATF’s July conference, by, Philip Woodhouse, Chairman of the Epping Forest Management Committee, and Russell Miller, the ATF’s Chair (both pictured).
‘The conference was a great success and it was an excellent opportunity to discuss the health and well-being of these hugely important trees’ said Philip Woodhouse. ‘The timing of the signing of the declaration couldn’t be better because the City of London Corporation is celebrating the 800th anniversary of the Forest Charter this year. This Charter protected ancient rights of ordinary citizens in the Forest, which helped to maintain the ancient trees for centuries and eventually ensured the survival of the Forest in the 19th Century, when the City of London stepped in to save it for the nation.’
The Concordat signing took place at Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge, which was built under the orders of Henry VIII. Some of Epping Forest’s ancient oaks would have ‘witnessed’ the King’s visit to the lodge over 450 years ago. Some of the site’s oldest trees would even have been around when the Forest Charter and its sister document the Magna Carta were signed 800 years ago. The forest is home to 55,000 ancient trees, more than any other single site in the country.
Russell Miller said he was delighted to formalise the ATF’s partnership with the City of London Corporation, as the two organisations have worked together for many years. ‘We look forward to continuing our partnership with the City of London in promoting both best practice and innovation in the management of priceless ancient trees’. The corporation recently awarded the ATF with a grant to develop a project which will demonstrate best practice in veteran tree management at four of the corporation’s sites, including Epping Forest.