red squirrel uk
Biological diversity, or biodiversity, refers to the scientific term for the variety of life on earth, in all its various formations and interactions. This can be made up of the individual gene compositions and species but also the ecosystems that they live a part of, for example the wide variety of life within rainforests or coral reefs. Everywhere on the planet, species co-exist and are dependent on one another. All life forms, including humans, are involved in these complex networks of interdependent relationships, which are called ecosystems.

Healthy ecosystems help regulate, clean and purify our air and water, they maintain our soil, regulate the climate, recycle nutrients and provide us with food. They provide raw materials and resources for medicines, clothing, heating, housing and other purposes. Our reliance on natural ecosystems forms the basis of our human civilization and economy.

Biodiversity is the key indicator of the health of an ecosystem. A wide variety of species will cope better with threats than a limited number of them in large populations.

Even if certain species are affected by pollution, climate change or human activities, the ecosystem as a whole may adapt and survive. But the extinction of a species may have unforeseen impacts, sometimes snowballing into the destruction of entire ecosystems.

According to the united nations 2019 report on sustainable development around one million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction. The average abundance of native species in most major land-based habitats has fallen by at least 20%, mostly since 1900.

Fellowship of the trees is committed to the creation, nurturing and protection of all planetary ecosystems and biodiversity. Therefore, we work to ensure that every action we partake in is of benefit to the land, soil and all life forms a part of it.

“If we pollute the air, water and soil that keep us alive and well, and destroy the biodiversity that allows natural systems to function, no amount of money will save us.” – David Suzuki.


climate change earth horizon

Climate change refers to the global and regional rise in planetary temperatures that have been more notably observed from mid to late 20th century. Rapidly increasing climate change has been highlighted as a result of anthropogenic (human) impact, increased atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide due to the use of fossil fuels, agricultural land conversion and deforestation. It is the richest, most industrialised countries of the world that are primarily responsible for global warming and the current climate crisis.

Annual+global+temperatures+from+1850 2020%2C+Climate+Lab+Book
Annual global temperatures from 1850-2020, Climate Lab Book
As human ecosystems are intrinsically interlinked with biological and natural ecosystems, then it follows that the disruption of this relationship is likely to cause significant harm to life upon the planet. Climate change has already been linked to the devastation of many human and animal lives throughout the world – resulting in the extinction of many species, droughts, storms, floods, fires, crop damage and sea-level rise. This is currently most extremely felt by countries in the global South, highlighting the profoundly unjust nature of the climate crisis.

The Paris Climate Agreement aims to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels. To achieve this requires widespread action to decarbonise and reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

The IPCC 2019 report ‘Climate Change and Land’ found that to limit warming to 1.5ºC requires global land-based mitigation and land-use change, including reduced deforestation and reforestation.

Fellowship of the Trees is committed to being part of the global movement demanding effective and just action to tackle the climate crisis, and to make a contribution through our actions and projects.

“We have a responsibility to protect the rights of generations, of all species, that cannot speak for themselves today. The global challenge of climate change requires that we ask no less of our leaders, or ourselves.” – Wangari Maathai


old growth forest logging 2
Forests are some of the most beautiful, magical places on Earth. Forests cover nearly a third of all land on Earth, providing vital organic infrastructure for some of the planet's densest, most diverse collections of life. Nearly half of Earth's known species live in forests, including 80% of biodiversity on land. That variety is especially rich in tropical rainforests, but forests teem with life around the planet: insects and worms work nutrients into soil, bees and birds spread pollen and seeds. Some 300 million people live in forests worldwide, including an estimated 60 million indigenous people.

There are more than 60,000 different species of trees. Trees provide the air that we breathe, filter the freshwater we drink, provide food and medicine, make rain, clean the air, cool the temperature and provide shade, nourish the soil, and prevent erosion and floods.

However, over the past 300 years, humans have cut down more than half the trees on our planet. Deforestation continues at a rampant pace, despite pledges made by governments to end deforestation by 2020. Every minute, the equivalent of 50 football pitches is cut down, primarily for animal agriculture, timber, palm oil and mining. This in turn is driving unprecedented species & biodiversity loss.

The UK is one of the most deforested countries in the world and has only 13% tree cover, compared to the European average of 36%. There is now only 610,000 hectares of ancient woodland surviving, covering only 2.5% of the land.

Fellowship of the Trees believes strongly in protecting all ancient forests and woodland. Ancient woodland creates special communities of plants, fungi, insects and animals. We advocate to prevent unnecessary deforestation both in the UK and internationally. We uphold the rights for all life to thrive and for natural ecosystems and forests to be protected as paramount to planetary health.

As an organisation, we believe that the destruction of ancient woodland and old growth forests cannot simply be mitigated through replanting, and therefore it is our responsibility to guard and preserve these established ‘elder’ ecosystems. We advocate the use of alternative, responsible and sustainable sources of fuel, food, and energy that will prevent further harm and destruction being done to our global ancient woodland, forests and rainforests.

“We must protect the forests for our children, grandchildren and children yet to be born. We must protect the forests for those who can't speak for themselves such as the birds, animals, fish and trees”, Qwatsinas

All Life Is Sacred

tawny owls
The notion of the sanctity of life is held amongst many religions, ethics, ancient and indigenous cultures throughout the world. Within Christianity, Druidry, paganism, shamanism, hinduism and so on, there are timelessly held beliefs that the Earth and the natural world are all sacred, essential and deserving of respect, gratitude and love.

In Greek Mythology the personification of the Earth as the ancient, matriarchal female deity ‘Gaia’ later was utilized within “The Gaia theory or the Gaia principle”. This theory proposes that living organisms interact with their inorganic surroundings on Earth to form a synergistic and self-regulating, complex system that helps to maintain and perpetuate the conditions for life on the planet.

Within some South American cultures and traditions such as the Quechua people of Peru, the Earth is known as “Pachamama”, honouring a living being that represents a ‘divine mother’ of which the human race are all born upon as her children.

Cross-culturally, many forms of spirituality honour the natural world within their tradition, and celebrate it for being our home. It is a celebration of the symbiotic relationship of Earth with all humans, elements, the plant and animal kingdoms, and describes a unification of the planet with spiritual life.

The Lakota people, a Native American indigenous culture, use the words “Aho Mitakuye oyasin” which means to honour “all our relations” – a universal ‘family’ of all beings upon the planet. The utilization of sacred ceremonies, offerings, rituals, prayers and blessings are all expressions and practices in which people can show devotion to the Earth and the sanctity of all life.

Fellowship of the Trees vision and mission stems from a belief that all life is sacred. This is from our own lives, lived with spiritual awareness and reverence to the deeply connected, interconnected web of life. When considering modern day western society and the rise of consumerist, capitalist, corporate culture, it feels to us that much of this ancient, ancestral wisdom that has formed the foundation of human evolution and culture is being forgotten. We live in times witnessing an unprecedented ecological crisis created by a remorseless drive for economic growth. This is leading to an increasing disconnect from the innate truth that all life is sacred. Our work holds the vision that we may collectively create a world where humanity lives in ‘right relationship’ to ourselves, the Earth and all beings. We wish for a world where as people we act from a place of peace and harmony within ourselves, and share this harmony through conscious, sustainable living and our relationships to others.

We work to combine sacred with environmental activism, based on author and teacher Andrew Harvey’s work. Sacred Activism is described as a “transforming force of compassion-in-action that is born of a fusion of deep spiritual knowledge, courage, love, and passion, with wise radical action in the world.”

We promote all positive action that includes a conscious awareness and compassion for the planet and preserving life. We believe that all service to the Earth and to support the natural world is valuable and important, and love should always be the most important motivating force.

“Let the trees be your breath, Let the grassy fields embrace you, Let the mountains and the seas remind you, Let the dawn sky flood in and allow the clouds to guide you, And when the living world has merged with you, May you finally know yourself truly alive, reborn into wholeness, Natural, Sacred and Wild.” – Shikoba



Positive mental health and well-being is vital for every individual and society to thrive. Poor mental health can be caused by numerous biological, cognitive or environmental factors, ranging from genetic predispositions, neuro-chemical imbalances, traumatic events, and so on.

The demands of western society, including the need to meet one’s basic living needs through working life, cultural expectations, stress and social isolation can also all contribute to an individual experiencing an episode of poor mental health. Furthermore, austerity measures have meant that mental health services are under pressure, and it can often be difficult for people to get the support they need.

Research has shown that our connection to nature is important and proves beneficial for our mental health. Spending time in nature has been shown to improve mood, attention, reduce stress levels and even improve our interpersonal relationships (Chowdhury, MA 2020).

Environmental psychologists believe that the interaction and contribution of nature plays a significant role in human development, well-being and behaviour. Furthermore, disruptions in natural ecosystems and habitat in any given area invariably also negatively impact the human populations connected to them. Environmental psychologists highlight that our connection to nature enhances our spiritual wellness, we can experience a sense of gratitude and foster a desire to protect it.

‘Forest bathing’ has traditionally been used as a Japanese well-being practise, which has recently evolved in the West with ‘eco-therapy’.

In the ground-breaking book, “Last Child of the Woods” Richard Louv terms ‘Nature-deficit disorder’ as an issue that affects children. His research shows that children who are deprived of contact with nature may experience emotional or behavioural problems.

Louv proposes that reconnecting children with nature can transform their lives, and so inspired an international movement of ‘forest schools’ and nature based therapies for children.

There is also a biological basis for our connection to nature; our interaction with the natural world helps our bodies to heal through exposure to vitamin D from the Sun, healthy bacteria in the soil and connecting with ‘detoxifying’ plants. Being in nature separates us from the electro-magnetic frequencies of being on-screen, providing opportunity for exercise and so increases our levels of positive ‘feel-good’ endorphins.

Fellowship of the Trees is passionate about supporting individuals to improve their mental health and well-being through providing opportunity to connect and be of service to the Earth. We provide spaces for all people, from all backgrounds to experience the enriching joys of nature.

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles”, Anne Frank.

“Ecotherapy improves mental wellbeing, it helps people to become more physically active, it gives people the skills to get back into work or training, and it helps people who are lonely or socially isolated to broaden their networks. These are all important factors that can prevent people developing a mental health problem to start with”, Paul Farmer, CEO, Mind.

Community Building

group hiking in forest
There is evidence to suggest that humans greatly benefit from being closely connected to people around them. An 80-year study by Harvard University spanning different ages, genders, races, and economic status found that good relationships keep us happier and healthier. There is a direct correlation that if you are more socially connected to family, to friends, to a community, you are happier, physically healthier and you live longer than someone who is less well connected.

Community living and the way of the ‘tribe’ appears to be a rarity in Western cultures, and yet having good connections and relationships with those around us are important for us to thrive.

Fellowship of the Trees believes that our relational networks are representative of the healthy ‘eco-systems’ that are vital to all of life. We wish to provide a space to bring people together, not only through our events and projects, but also within our partnerships with other community projects and organisations. We believe we can achieve more, and do more, to support the planet when we join together – and therefore we share the benefit of this experience together. We hope that through our work, people can meet and form connections and friendships through meaningful service. We aim to involve local communities within regional projects, and so foster lasting connections through love for their home land.

At Fellowship of the Trees, we are a fellowship of earth protectors, activists, environmentalists and conscious, caring individuals. As an organisation, we mutually support and encourage each other, and we invite you to join our growing community.

“The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life.” – (Rabindranath Tagore)

Join us to grow and restore forests and communities for future generations.