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Help Unearth the 2017 Tree of the Year

Do you have a favourite tree, either local to you or on one of your much-loved walks? Does it have a tale to tell, playing an important for locals and wildlife or having a fascinating history? If so, the Woodland Trust would love to hear from you as part of their quest to find the 2017 Tree of the Year…

cubbington pear tree frances wilmotThe Woodland Trust has just opened nominations for Tree of the Year, a competition in its fourth year. Nominations are open to any living tree in the UK with a story to tell and any individual, group or organisation can enter a tree until midnight on Sunday 30 July.

From these nominations, judges will create shortlists for each nation (Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland), then the public will vote for the winners in each country. One tree from this public vote will go forward to represent the UK in Europe. In 2016, the UK’s winning tree, the Brimmon Oak near Newtown in Wales, finished second in the European Tree of the Year competition, just 1,300 votes behind the winner from Poland (so the odds seem to be much better than for the Eurovision Song Contest!). Could this year’s tree go one better?

From elegant cherry trees to towering elms, do you have a tree with an interesting story that is special to you, your friends and family or your community? The Woodland Trust want to hear about your most beautiful, interesting and quirky special trees. Previous short-listed trees include an ancient yew tree in Perthshire (thought to be between 3,000 and 5,000 years old), a 250-year old wild pear tree in Warwickshire (pictured and now at risk under plans for HS2) and an estate sycamore tree in Dorset (under which a trade union was formed).

In case the accolade of Tree of the Year isn’t tempting enough, winning trees will also 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 for arboricultural surveys or other maintenance, interpretation or even to support a community event in celebration of the tree.

Visit the Woodland Trust website for more information about Previous Nominations and to access the Nomination Form.

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The length (in miles) of a walk is an approximation of the overall of the walking guide, not a measure of the distance "as the crow flies" between any two points. This is based on the GPX file that was created when the author walked the route and rounded to the nearest mile.length

Grade (Boots)

The grade of a walk is an indicator of how difficult it is to walk. This does not take into account the walk length but does suggest how challenging the walk will be. An easy walk, graded as 1 (and shown as 1 walking boot) indicates a walk that is essentially flat, has no sharp hills to climb, has no stiles or other obstacles, is easy to navigate (probably along a well-worn path) and is suitable for most levels of fitness. Do be aware that the level of stamina required will vary and you should only walk within your limits - the indication of walk length will help with this. A difficult walk, graded as 5 (and represented by 5 boots) indicates a walk that is strenuous and involves steep ascents and/or descents. It may be technically challenging involving difficult terrain or obstacles.

Please note that the grading for walks is subjective and open to interpretation and should only be used as a guide when selecting a walk.

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