The results of the European Tree of the Year contest have been announced, with the ‘Oak tree on a football field’ in Estonia winning with 59,836 votes, 32% of almost 185,000 votes cast in total. England’s Major Oak was the highest placed UK entrant in 6th with 9,941 votes, Scotland’s entry was 9th and Wales’ 10th out of 14 participating countries. The trees also join the European Trail of Trees, where people have the opportunity to find out more about trees in the contest across Europe.
The contest which began in 2011 is organised by the Environmental Partnership Association and 2015 was the first year that an entry for England was submitted. The Trust intends to enter trees into the 2016 contest with the nomination process taking place again later this year.
Woodland Trust Ancient Tree Expert Jill Butler, said:
It is clear that some of our European cousins place huge cultural importance on their special trees and it’s something we need to adopt in the UK too. We have a higher proportion of ancient and other veteran trees than anywhere else in Northern Europe and we need to do much more to recognise their value and improve their protection.
Councillor John Knight, Committee Chairman for Culture, at Nottinghamshire County Council said:
We would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to vote in this campaign, just a couple of months after the Major Oak was named as England’s Tree of the Year. We are very pleased that the Major Oak has enjoyed a high profile throughout the competition and we hope it will encourage our European neighbours to want to visit the iconic Major Oak in Robin Hood’s county.
More than 6,000 people have so far taken action through the charity’s V.I.Trees campaign in partnership with Country Living Magazine, contacting their country’s minister to call for the creation of a register for individual trees of special interest like the ones in this contest.
Find out more about the Woodland Trust’s campaign at www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/vitrees