A sapling pulled from the mud of Passchendaele, a tree which has inspired the scouting movement, and a yew which bleeds are some of the 28 nominations shortlisted for the Woodland Trust’s Tree of the Year contest 2017.
Now in its fourth year, tens of thousands of people have already taken part in the conservation charity’s competition which celebrates the UK’s finest trees. This year, for the first time, one tree will be chosen from each of the four national winners to represent the UK in the 2018 European Tree of the Year contest. Expert panels have shortlisted 10 trees in England and six in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for voters to choose from.
Supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, the shortlisted trees are also in with a chance of winning a £1,000 care award. The award can be used to arrange a health check from an arboriculturist, provide interpretation or educational materials or simply hold a celebratory event in honour of the tree.
On the subject, Beccy Speight, Woodland Trust chief executive writes:
Once again the public have nominated many fantastic trees with truly inspirational stories, which highlight how intrinsic trees are in peoples’ lives. It’s a reminder of why we need to care for individual trees and that they still need true protection in law from development or mismanagement.
The European Tree of the Year contest, run by the Environmental Partnership Association since 2011, looks for the best-loved trees from nations across Europe. This year, Wales’ Brimmon Oak was the runner-up in the competition, the best result so far for a UK entry.
The Woodland Trust is still calling for better protection for ancient trees and woodland. The current Conservative Manifesto pledges to ‘provide stronger protections’ for ancient woods and trees, which reinforces recommendations in the recent housing white paper to increase protection through changes to planning policy in England. The Government is expected to produce its response to the white paper’s consultation later this year.
To vote your favourite tree in the Tree of the Year contest visit woodlandtrust.org.uk/treeoftheyear by 8 October.
The Courageous Tree (Photo: WTML/ Cumbrias Top 50 Trees)