The search for Scotland's best loved tree has started. Scottish Tree of the Year is a new competition organised by the Woodland Trust Scotland and supported by players of People's Postcode Lottery that aims to find the nation's best loved trees. It is part of the European Tree of the Year contest.

The competition is open to any living tree in Scotland that has a great story to tell and anybody can enter. An independent panel of judges will shortlist six trees based on their story and a public vote in September will decide the winner. To enter, fill out an application form (pdf, 237KB) by 9th May.

Andrew Fairbairn, Policy and Communications Manager at Woodland Trust Scotland, said, "Virtually every community has at least one tree that stands out from the rest and has an amazing story to tell. It could be a tree that's associated with a famous person or a battle, or one that the local people have rallied around to save it from being felled.

"By celebrating what trees mean to people and the stories that they have to tell we can help to raise awareness of the need to protect them. We're delighted that players of People's Postcode Lottery are supporting the competition to find the best loved trees in Scotland."

Comedian and broadcaster Fred MacAulay is supporting the search. He said, "Tree of the Year is a fantastic way to celebrate our natural heritage. We're inviting people to tell us about the trees that are most important to them and become champions for them.

"Scotland is blessed with thousands of amazing trees. Whether it's in the middle of a wood, halfway up a mountain or in the heart of a city, if it's a tree that people love and tell stories about then we want to hear about it."

The winner of the competition will go on to be Scotland's entry in the European Tree of the Year competition in 2015.

The Woodland Trust Scotland is part of the UK's leading charity championing native woods and trees. The Trust aims to plant native trees and woods to create resilient landscapes for people and wildlife, to protect ancient woodland which is rare, unique and irreplaceable and to restore damaged ancient woodland, allowing native flora and fauna to return.

Established in 1972, the Woodland Trust now has over 1,000 sites in its care covering approximately 20,000 hectares. In 1984, the Trust acquired its first wood in Scotland. Today the Trust owns 80 sites across Scotland covering 8,750 hectares and has more than 400,000 supporters. To date, players of People's Postcode Lottery have awarded this fantastic charity with £566,552 funding.

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