CONSERVATIONISTS are hoping that one of the North’s ancient trees will soon be taking a ‘bough’ after the launch of a competition to find the best specimen in Europe.
The Woodland Trust asking the public to put forward contenders to become the English ‘Tree of the Year’, which will ultimately do battle with Europe’s finest in the European Tree of the Year competition.
England has one of the largest and most diverse concentrations of ancient and veteran trees in Europe, and there are hundreds of examples across North Yorkshire, County Durham and Northumbria.
The oldest trees in England date back to before the creation of the Domesday Book.
However, your favourite does not have to be ancient – a favourite tree of any age, size or species can be nominated as long as it is located in England.
Whether it has a personal connection, a link to a significant date in history, a link to historical figure, or for any other reason; all are eligible.
Later in the year the charity will create a shortlist from all entries and the public will be given the chance to vote which tree to put forward for England’s Tree of the Year.
The Trust hopes that the competition will be a platform for individual trees of importance to be given greater protection and support, as many remain at risk from development, disease and vandalism.
Beccy Speight, Woodland Trust Chief Executive, said: “Many trees that we take for granted in our everyday lives have stood the test of time and have so many stories to tell. We want people to give these cherished trees the recognition they deserve by nominating them in this contest.
“This could be the first step towards providing these trees and the woods they inhabit with far greater protection to ensure they have a chance of standing long into the future.”
In North Yorkshire there are 622 ancient trees recorded, 181 in County Durham and 79 in Northumbria.
The Trust has already launched contests in Scotland and Wales whose trees, along with the English winner, will be entered in the European Tree of the Year competition in spring 2015. The competition has been running across Europe since 2011, with tens of thousands of votes cast every year.
IKEA is supporting the Woodland Trust in its search to find England’s Tree of the Year. Find out more about the nomination process or submit an entry at woodlandtrust.org.uk