The search has begun for the the Tree of the Year 2020. Nominations are open for people in England, Scotland and Wales to tell us about their most loved tree. That could be a visually stunning specimen, a beacon of hope in uncertain times, or a tree with an amazing back story.
Now in its seventh year, Tree of the Year highlights and celebrates special trees across the nations. 2019 country winners included The Allerton Oak (England), The Last Ent of Affric (Scotland) and The Old Chestnut of Pontypool (Wales).
Whilst last year's winners were all ancient or veteran trees that had survived the threat of development, disease, grazing and/or climate change, nominations are welcome for any age or species of tree. Young or newly planted trees in our gardens, communities and parks have their stories too. It is what sets your tree apart from the rest that Woodland Trust wants to hear about.
Naomi Tilley, Lead Campaigner for the Woodland Trust, said, "Tree of the Year has helped discover and celebrate lots of incredible trees across the nations. This year during lockdown, when many are appreciating local greenspace more than ever before, we hope to uncover some local tree treasures. The UK has some of the most remarkable trees in the world - and often they're found in someone's back garden. We need the public's support to find them, nominate them and vote for a winner."
Any individual, group or organisation can nominate a tree and share its story. Winning trees will benefit from a tree care award of up to £1,000 thanks to support from players of People's Postcode Lottery. This can be used to benefit the tree's health, for signage, or a community celebration. Shortlisted trees in need of support are also eligible for a £500 care award.
Sanjay Singh, Senior Programmes Manager at People's Postcode Lottery, said, "We'd like to encourage communities across Britain to get involved with the 2020 Tree of the Year competition and look forward to discovering amazing trees with wonderful stories. Thanks to all the players of People's Postcode Lottery who are supporting this search for the nation's most special trees. For the fourth year running funding will be available to directly benefit the long-term health of those special trees that need it the most."
Nominations are open until 29th June 2020. Entries will then be shortlisted by a panel of independent experts before facing a public vote later in the year.
The winner of Tree of the Year 2020 will represent the UK in the battle for European Tree of the Year in March 2021.