A Perthshire pine at the heart of a conservation success story has taken the title of Scottish Tree of the Year 2014.
Lady's Tree, nominated by the Scottish Wildlife Trust, won a public vote against five finalists from around Scotland. The competition is organised by the Woodland Trust Scotland and supported by players of People's Postcode Lottery.
Lady's Tree is a 100-year-old Scots pine at Loch of the Lowes nature reserve near Dunkeld. It has been home to a famous osprey known as Lady for the last 24 years. Over that time the osprey has laid 71 eggs, fledging 50 chicks.
Jonny Hughes, Chief Executive of the Scottish Wildlife Trust, said, "The Scottish Wildlife Trust is delighted that Lady's Tree has won the prestigious Scottish Tree of the Year award.
"This iconic Scots pine at the Scottish Wildlife Trust's Loch of the Lowes Visitor Centre and Reserve is very much part of a wider conservation success story. Ospreys were extinct in Scotland, but through dedicated conservation efforts such as the osprey protection programme undertaken at Loch of the Lowes every year, the population in Scotland is thriving once again.
"The Scottish Wildlife Trust would also like to thank players of People's Postcode Lottery for supporting this competition and helping conservation charities like the Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Woodland Trust to protect wildlife and wild places for future generations."
Carol Evans, Director of the Woodland Trust Scotland, added, "With the support of players of People's Postcode Lottery, Scottish Tree of the Year aims to find the nation's best loved tree. I'd like to congratulate each of the finalists for carrying out heartfelt campaigns to encourage local people and supporters to publicly back their trees, which they clearly love and value and which represent part of their natural heritage.
"Lady's Tree supports a wide range of life, from lichens and wood ants to red squirrels and of course, the famous osprey. It has been at the heart of a conservation success story for nearly quarter of a century. It's a very worthy winner. As a Scots pine, it is Scotland's national tree, and I hope that the nation will support it by voting for it in European Tree of the Year."
Lady's Tree will go on to compete against trees from 12 countries from around Europe in the competition for European Tree of the Year 2015. Voting takes place in February. Entries for Scottish Tree of the Year 2015 will open next March.