Woodland Trust

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The Woodland Trust, is a conservation charity in the United Kingdom concerned with the protection and sympathetic management of native woodland heritage.



It was founded in Devon, England in 1972 by retired farmer Kenneth Watkins OBE (6 December 1909 - 13 November 1996). By 1977 it had twenty two woods in six counties. In 1978 it announced that it would be a UK-wide charity, and moved to Grantham in Lincolnshire. It has supported the National Tree Week scheme, which is in late November and ran by The Tree Council.

From 2005-8 it co-operated with the BBC for their Springwatch programme and the BBC's Breathing Places[1] series of events held at woods.


  • It acquired Balmacaan Wood next to Loch Ness in 1984. It now has over 80 woods in Scotland, covering 8,500 hectares.
  • In Wales, it acquired the 94-acre (380,000 m2) Coed Lletywalter in Snowdonia National Park in 1980. It now has over 100 woods in Wales.
  • It started in Northern Ireland in 1996 when it received a grant from the Millenium Commission to set up over 50 community woods. The scheme was called Woods on Your Doorstep.


Its first employee and Director, John James, came from Lincolnshire and was living in Nottingham at the time. It had a small office on Westgate. John James was Chief Executive from 1992-7, and then Michael Townsend from 1997-2004.

A new eco-friendly headquarters is to be built adjacent to the current headquarters and will open in 2010.[2][3] The new headquarters have been designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios.


It is now based at Kempton Way on Dysart Road in Grantham in South Kesteven, south Lincolnshire, moving there in 2010. It employs around 300 people at its Grantham headquarters. Since 2005, the Chief Executive has been Cambridge-educated Sue Holden. Its current president is Clive Anderson since 2003.

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