Scotland’s #TreeOfTheYear 2020 – The Survivor Tree, Carrifran Valley.
It was once a lone rowan clinging to a stream bank in Carrifran Valley, but today that survivor tree is lonely no more! It is surrounded by a little forest of its children, and lots of suckers are coming up from its base. This was some of the first natural regeneration the Borders Forest Trust achieved in the Carrifran Valley. In addition to its own children, the rowan tree now has over half a million other native Scottish trees for company. Where once it dominated the view, it will soon be hidden from sight. The rowan tree no longer stands alone and is a symbol of the 20-year journey to revive the wild heart of Southern Scotland.
Wales’ #TreeOfTheYear 2020 – The Chapter House Tree, Margam Park, Port Talbot.
Standing in the shadows of 17th century Margam Orangery and St Mary’s Church, this historic fern-leaved beech envelopes the remains of one of the first Cistercian abbeys in Wales. Its canopy has provided shelter to visitors for many years – from Victorian tea parties taking place under its sweeping boughs to a favourite summer picnic spot for present day visitors. The tree provides an atmospheric back drop and is loved by cinematographers – featuring in TV and Film productions from Dr Who and ‘Songs of Praise’ with Sir Bryn Terfel to the recent Netflix blockbuster series ‘Sex Education’.
England’s #TreeOfTheYear 2020 – The Happy Man Tree, Hackney, London. Currently earmarked for felling, the plight of this 150 year old Plane has awakened something in a community that couldn’t bear to see it go. The dressing of the tree, and the signs behind it, are testament to the strength of feeling among the local campaigning. As an urban tree, it makes an important contribution to combating air pollution and making grey city streets green. But the community sees it as more than just the sum of it’s parts – it’s part of the estate, part of their collective history.