Woodland Trust reveals the shortlisted trees for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland’s Tree of the Year contests.

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 this year.

Scouts under the shade of the Gilwell Oak, one of this year's shortlisted trees. Photo credit Martyn Milner
Scouts under the shade of the Gilwell Oak, one of this year’s shortlisted trees. Photo credit Martyn Milner

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 6 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.

Beccy Speight, Woodland Trust chief executive said: “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.”

Clara Govier, head of charities at People’s Postcode Lottery added: “We are delighted that with our players’ support, the Woodland Trust is able to provide this opportunity for communities all over Britain to celebrate and care for their fantastic trees.”

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: https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/tree-of-the-year/

Voting ends on 8th October 2017

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