Northumberland tree needs your votes in European contest

The Sycamore Gap tree, on Hadrians Wall. Picture by National Trust/John Millar
The Sycamore Gap tree, on Hadrians Wall. Picture by National Trust/John Millar

An iconic tree in the Northumberland National Park, which was crowned England’s Tree of the Year, now needs your votes as it takes on the best from across Europe.

The Sycamore Gap tree, on Hadrian’s Wall, was voted as the nation’s best in the Woodland Trust competition in December. Voting has now begun in the European Tree of the Year contest – visit www.treeoftheyear.org
Run by the Environmental Partnership Association, the voting mechanism is straightforward – the tree with the most public votes at the end of February will win.

Also known as the Robin Hood tree following its appearance in the famous 90s film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, it received 21 per cent of nearly 12,000 votes cast by the public in the national vote.

It will be joined in the European contest by the winners from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – Ding Dong Tree, at Prestonpans Primary School; the Brimmon Oak, Newtown, Powys; and the Holm Oak, Kilbroney Park, Rostrevor, County Down, respectively.

Jill Butler, Woodland Trust ancient tree expert, said: “The UK is renowned as a country of nature lovers, but we never get anywhere near enough votes for our trees in the European contest. Perhaps this also goes some way to explain why so many of our special trees don’t have the relevant protection. Let’s hope this year we can turn things around.”

Andrew Poad, general manager at the National Trust’s Hadrian’s Wall, added: “We would like to say a huge thank-you to everyone who voted for Sycamore Gap to make it England’s Tree of the Year. With the help of members, visitors and donors, the National Trust cares for many fantastic trees for everyone to enjoy. Hopefully, everyone who has visited or taken pictures of the tree will vote to make Sycamore Gap European Tree of the Year.”

Check out our gallery of readers’ pictures of England’s Tree of the Year here