British hopes rest on a defiant lone hawthorn as online voting opens today (Tuesday) in the European Tree of the Year competition.
The Kippford Leaning Tree near Dalbeattie in Dumfries & Galloway cuts a striking figure as the only tree on a windswept beach. It was named UK Tree of the Year 2021 in a competition organised by The Woodland Trust, and now goes forward for the European contest.
Online voting runs throughout the month of February at www.treeoftheyear.org
The hawthorn was originally nominated in the UK competition by Nottingham-based tree surgeon Drew Patterson, whose family goes back many generations in Dalbeattie.
Since being named UK Tree of the Year, the hawthorn became the centre of new year celebrations in Kippford with hundreds of people, including Drew and his family, taking a walk to see it on 1 January.
Drew hopes New Year’s Day visits to the hawthorn will become an ongoing tradition.
“I think hawthorn is an unsung hero for wildlife, and our most important species,” said Drew. “If you think about it, they are so numerous in hedges and roadside verges. Other species usually get the glory but for me hawthorn deserves to be noticed and I am delighted this one is enjoying so much attention.”
Adam Cormack, head of campaigning for the Woodland Trust, said the tree represented all the individual trees which people and communities hold in affection.
He said: “We’ve had winners of all shapes and sizes in previous years and this is a tree that stands out for different reasons, notably because of its striking presence in an unusual setting. It is also a special tree for Drew because of the family significance, which highlights the importance individual trees can have. Lots of trees are equally meaningful to someone, providing a connection and treasured memories. Our UK Tree of the Year competition and the European contest are both marvellous celebrations of these cherished individual trees. We hope people will back our hawthorn tree. Online voting only takes a minute to do.”
Posted On: 02/02/2022