An oak tree planted in Glasgow in 1918 as a tribute to the struggle faced by Glasgow’s suffragettes has won the Scottish Tree of the Year competition.
The Suffragette Oak in Kelvingrove Park won a public vote from six trees that were shortlisted in the contest, which is organised by the Woodland Trust Scotland and supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
The oak was nominated and championed by Glasgow Women’s Library. It was planted on 20 April 1918 by a number of suffrage organisations to mark women being granted the right to vote earlier that year.
Representatives from Glasgow Women’s Library were presented with the Scottish Tree of the Year trophy by broadcaster Euan McIlwraith last night (Tuesday 27 October) at a prize giving reception in the Scottish Parliament, sponsored by Jim Hume MSP.
Wendy Kirk from Glasgow Women’s Library said: “We’re thrilled that the Suffragette Oak has been chosen by the public to be Scotland’s Tree of the Year. This beautiful tree is part of the rich fabric of Glasgow’s social and political history, and also women’s history.
“Being part of the competition has been a fantastic and fun-filled opportunity to celebrate, champion and raise awareness of the world-changing achievements of women. I’m sure that the suffragettes would have been delighted to know that nearly 100 years on the tiny sapling they planted has become the Scottish Tree of the Year.”
Carol Evans, director of the Woodland Trust Scotland said: “I’d like to congratulate all of the finalists in Scottish Tree of the Year for taking part in the competition to raise awareness and harness local pride around the trees that are special to them, and especially Glasgow Women’s Library for organising such a successful campaign.
“One of the reasons for holding the competition is to uncover the hidden history that many trees represent, and to encourage people to value and care for them. It’s all too easy to walk by trees such as the Suffragette Oak without stopping to discover their heritage but thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery it’s story will be better known.”
Annemiek Hoogenboom, country director of People’s Postcode Lottery said: “Tree of the Year is a special competition that connects people with trees in a very real way. Sharing and remembering the stories that we tell about trees helps future generations to love and protect them.
I’m delighted that players of People’s Postcode Lottery support not only Scottish Tree of the Year, but also the sister competitions in England and Wales.”
Scottish Tree of the Year is an annual search for the nation’s best loved tree. The Suffragette Oak will go up against trees from 15 European countries to decide the 2016 European Tree of the Year, organised by the Environmental Partnership Association. Voting in this competition takes place in February 2016.
The winners of the Tree of the Year competitions in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will be revealed in November.
Full results of Scottish Tree of the Year 2015
- First – Suffragette Oak, Kelvingrove, nominated by Glasgow Women’s Library
- Second – Benmore’s Giant Redwood, near Dunoon, nominated by Benmore Botanic Garden
- Third – The Clachan Oak, Balfron, nominated by Derek Townsend
- Fourth – Bibby Tree, Edinburgh. Nominated by Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh
- Fifth – Birnam Oak, Perthshire. Nominated by Christene Leiper
Sixth – Poker Tree, Aberfoyle. Nominated by Fergus Wood