A group of cyclists stopped off at Belton House on Sunday as part of their charity ride to launch a new national Charter to address the challenges facing trees and woods today in the UK.
The riders from Funds4Trees and the Woodland Trust were cycling from Lincoln to London but stopped at Belton House to plant a tree and present staff with a copy of the Tree Charter.
The cyclists set off from the Ankerwycke Yew at Runnymede, under whose boughs the Magna Carta was signed in 1215. The Charter of the Forest followed two years later to complement the Magna Carta from which it had evolved. As forests were vital to survival as a source of fuel, food and grazing, the 1217 Charter reinstated the rights of people to access woods which had been revoked by the Magna Carta.
The cycle ride comes as the nation’s trees face unprecedented pressures from development, diseases and climate change.