Meet some very special trees

Discover some of the UK's oldest, grandest and most extraordinary Trees of National Special Interest.

The Woodland Trust, in association with the Tree Register of the British Isles and the Ancient Tree Forum, spent 10 years discovering the most important trees across the country.

The arboreal beauties highlighted here are just some of the wonders of nature that have survived the test of time, witnessed incredible moments in history or grown to epic proportions:

Discoed Yew, Wales

The Discoed Yew towers over St Michael's Church in Discoed, Powys. It is a glorious example of the ancient yews that guard cemeteries and churchyards around the country. At an estimated 5,000 years old it is thought to be one of the oldest trees in Wales, if not the whole of Europe.

Tolpuddle Martyrs' Sycamore, England

In 1834 this tree witnessed a truly historic event. Six agricultural labourers, exploited by their employers and living in dreadful poverty, met underneath its boughs to form the Friendly Society of Agricultural Labourers - the first ever trade union in Britain.

The Tolpuddle Martyrs were later arrested for swearing a secret oath and sent to Botany Bay. Much protest followed and after three years they were pardoned, returning home to a hero's welcome.

Bowthorpe Oak, England

The legendary Bowthorpe Oak is located near Bourne, Lincolnshire, and is estimated to be over 1,000 years old. This mighty oak's hollow trunk has been used for parties in the past and it is rumoured 39 people once stood within it! The tree has also played host to many tea parties, with children from the local chapel holding their annual 'tea and treat' inside.

Birnam Oak, Scotland

This majestic ancient oak stands a few hundred metres from the centre of Birnam. It is said to be the last survivor of the Great Forest of Birnam, made famous by Shakespeare's Macbeth. Fact or fiction, it is sure to have borne witness to many historic events over its long life.

Crom Castle Yews, Northern Ireland

These wonderfully tangled and twisted roots actually belong to two yew trees, a male and a female, planted at the entrance to the castle garden. The combined circumference of the canopy of these two trees is a staggering 115 metres! It is believed parties of up to 200 people were able to dine under the trees' branches.

Molten Yew, Wales

This astonishing ancient yew has prospered in extreme conditions, clinging to a sheer limestone cliff above Llangollen for hundreds of years.

Auchinleck Sweet Chestnut, Scotland

This magnificent sweet chestnut was believed to have been planted in the 17th century. It is one of several ancient trees in the grounds of Auchinleck House, Ayrshire.

Hainault Hornbeam, England

This ancient hornbeam resides in Hainault Forest in Essex. Its distinctive shape is a result of pollarding which was carried out to create faggots for London's bakers. Hornbeam faggots were in great demand as they were said to produce the best bread; burning with a consistent heat and giving bread a smoky, biscuity flavour.

Buttington Oak, Wales

This enormous oak stands in a field near Buttington, Powys, and is an iconic feature of the landscape. It is one of the largest oak trees in Wales, with a spectacular girth of 11 metres.

Boom Hall Oak, Northern Ireland

This oak is one of many notable and veteran trees to be found at the Boom Hall Estate, near the Foyle Bridge in Londonderry. It has a girth of over six metres and is estimated to be over 250 years old.

Show your support for a national tree register

Help celebrate these natural wonders and protect them from harm for the rest of their days.

Planning and forestry are devolved matters across the UK so there needs to be a list or register in each nation.

Click on your country below to help the Very Important Trees where you live.

England

Northern Ireland

Scotland

Wales

In partnership with Country Living magazine.

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Celebrate and protect our Very Important Trees

Ancient oak tree (Ancient Tree Hunt website)

Our oldest and most important trees have little recognition or protection. Help us ensure these living monuments are not lost forever.

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