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Cast your Tree of the Year vote before time runs out!

The European Tree of the Year contest doesn’t focus on the size, age or aesthetics of a tree. Instead it focuses on the resonance a tree has with people - how they hold it in their hearts, the story behind it and the connection it has to a wider community.

The Gilwell Oak, our splendid entry in this year’s competition, means a lot of things to a lot of people because of its connection to the Scout Association, and we would love you to cast your vote in the hope it takes top spot.

Voting is open now

Run by the Environmental Partnership Association, the voting mechanism for European Tree of the Year is straightforward – the tree with the most public votes at the end of February will win.

Visitors to the competition website will be able to see how many votes each of the 13 entries has amassed until a week before the voting deadline, when the race to the finish becomes secret until a ceremony in March.

Choosing the UK entry

The Gilwell Oak was chosen as the UK entry by our panel of experts after a public vote, supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, declared it to be England’s Tree of the Year.

Could the Gilwell Oak be European Tree of the Year? (Photo: Martyn Milner Photography/WTML)
Could the Gilwell Oak be European Tree of the Year? (Photo: Martyn Milner Photography/WTML)

The Gilwell Oak sits at the heart of Gilwell Park in Epping, the home of the scouting movement conceived by Robert Baden Powell. The towering oak was adopted by Powell as a neat analogy in 1929 for not only the growth of the scouting movement worldwide, which began with a small trial camp some 21 years earlier, but as a message to young Scouts that big things are possible from modest starts.

From 1919 Baden Powell and his contemporaries devised and delivered some of the first adult leader training courses under the branches of the Gilwell Oak. These courses were designed to help volunteers develop their leadership and youth work skills. Today the leadership training undertaken by the world’s 10 million volunteer Scout leaders helps the world’s 40 million Scouts develop their leadership, planning, teamwork and resilience skills.

The Wood Badge marks the completion of formal Scout leader training. These wood badges are so named because the wooden beads given to participants were originally carved from windfall branches of the Gilwell Oak.

Visit the European Tree of the Year site to help the Gilwell Oak win

Vote now