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Help us find the nation’s Tree of the Year 2018

Tall, strong, incredibly handsome, hardworking, kind to animals and great with children.

Trees. What’s not to love? Help us find the nation’s Tree of the Year 2018!

The hunt for 2018’s Tree of the Year is on! The Woodland Trust is calling for the public’s nominations to find the nation’s favourite tree.

The contest, now in its fifth year throws the spotlight on the UK’s best trees to help drive up interest in their value and protection. And it seems there’s still a way to go with policy makers.

Jill Butler of the Woodland Trust said: “Easily overlooked and routinely undervalued, trees need their moment in the sun. At this point last year we called for changes to planning policy that would strengthen protection for ancient trees in England, and also in Wales. We’re still waiting to hear if this will be the case1. Meanwhile, more trees have come down needlessly in our towns and cities and calls to save important trees from infrastructure plans such as HS2 have been rejected.

“And so we’re asking the public to nominate their personal favourites and put a public value on these natural treasures. If a certain tree means something to you personally, or a tree in your life has witnessed part of our history or been a part of a community for generations, nominate it for the Tree of the Year crown before August 6.”     

As well as putting our best trees on the map, the competition - supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery – offers a £1,000 tree care award for a winning tree in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The money can be used to arrange a ‘Tree-LC’ health check from a qualified arboriculturalist, provide interpretation or educational materials or simply just hold a celebratory event in honour of the tree.

The overall Tree of the Year winner in 2017, the Gilwell Oak (Photo: WTML)
The overall Tree of the Year winner in 2017, the Gilwell Oak (Photo: WTML)

Any individual, group or organisation can nominate a tree and share its story at woodlandtrust.org.uk/treeoftheyear until 9am on 6 August. The entries will then be shortlisted by a panel of independent experts before facing the public vote.

Sanjay Singh, senior programmes manager at People's Postcode Lottery said: “I am delighted that players of People’s Postcode Lottery can back this great celebration of the nation’s trees. We look forward to finding out about all the grand specimens, the trees with a story or the trees that communities hold dear.”

The overall winner will go forward to the European contest run by the Environmental Partnership Association. The competition helps us celebrate what we have and join the chorus in Europe to demand better recognition for the important role of trees. Last year’s winner, the Gilwell Oak, polled 5th in the European contest, with Portugal’s entry taking the honours.

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Notes to Editors
For further information contact the Woodland Trust press office on 01476 581121 or email nataliestephenson@woodlandtrust.org.uk

The Woodland Trust is the largest woodland conservation charity in the UK. It has over 500,000 supporters. It wants to see a UK rich in native woods and trees for people and wildlife.

The Trust has three key aims:  i) protect ancient woodland which is rare, unique and irreplaceable, ii) restoration of damaged ancient woodland, bringing precious pieces of our natural history back to life, iii) plant native trees and woods with the aim of creating resilient landscapes for people and wildlife.

Established in 1972, the Woodland Trust now has over 1,000 sites in its care covering over 22,500 hectares. Access to its woods is free.

  1. The Woodland Trust calls for the same level of protection for ancient and veteran trees as that proposed for ancient woodland in a review of English Planning Policy. New policy wording proposed by the Government in the revised National Planning Policy Framework will state ‘development resulting in the loss or deterioration of irreplaceable habitats such as ancient woodland should be refused, unless there are wholly exceptional reasons.’ However, ancient and veteran trees have been separated from ancient woodland as ‘irreplaceable habitat’ for the first time, and were not included in the policy amendments. The Woodland Trust responded to the public consultation to ask the proposed policy is also applied to ancient trees and not watered down. The outcome will be announced later this year.