A legendary tree in the Moorlands has been nominated for a national recognition. The Chained Oak, which is situated in Alton, has been put forward for the Woodland Trust’s Tree of the Year 2020 title.
A legendary tree in the Moorlands has been nominated for a national recognition.
The Chained Oak, which is situated in Alton, has been put forward for the Woodland Trust’s Tree of the Year 2020 title.
The Woodland Trust’s annual competition, now in its seventh year, throws the spotlight on the nations best trees to help drive up interest in their value and protection.
A spokesman for the trust said: “The contest, supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, takes place across Britain, with Wales and Scotland also each to crown a winner.
“Whittled down from hundreds of nominations sent in by the general public during lockdown, a shortlist of ten trees is now up for the public vote.”
The Chained Oak is swathed in chains and a mysterious, sinister legend……As the Earl of Shrewsbury was passing the oak, on his way home to Alton Towers (back when it was a stately manor, and not a theme park), an old beggar woman stepped out in front of his carriage and asked for a coin. The Earl refused, and so the old woman cursed the Earl and his family. Whenever a branch of the mighty oak broke, a member of the Earl’s family would die. He dismissed her and carried on his way. That night, a raging storm broke one of the branches, duly accompanied by the death of one of the Earl’s family that same night.
To escape the curse, the Earl ordered that every branch of the tree be secured with chains, to prevent any more from falling.
The other nine trees in the running for the title are: The Shoe Tree – Heaton Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Happy Man Tree – Hackney in London, The Marylebone Elm – Westminster in London, The Wilmington Yew – Wilmington in Sussex, The Beltingham Yew in Northumberland, The Beech Tree in the Altar – Bayham Abbey in Kent, The Crouch Oak in Surrey, The Grantham Oak – Grantham in Lincolnshire, and The Remedy Oak in Dorset.
Darren Moorcroft, chief executive of the Woodland Trust, said: “Easily overlooked and routinely undervalued, trees deserve their moment in the sun. This competition is a very simple way to demonstrate our appreciation of trees.
“We had more than double the number of trees nominated by members of the public this spring compared to past years. This is perhaps no surprise given that lockdown had so many of us slowing down and taking more note of nature on our doorsteps, a boost for our mental health and wellbeing.
“At a time when we’re fighting both a climate and nature crisis, it is undeniable that trees are needed now more than ever.
“They are nature’s most powerful weapon in this fight. This competition is a very simple way to show that people do care about trees, so please visit our website and vote for your favourite.”
The process is simple – the tree with the most votes wins. As well as putting the nation’s best trees on the map, the awards – supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery – offer a £1,000 tree care award for each winning tree.
Laura Chow, head of charities at People’s Postcode Lottery said: “The competition has unearthed some remarkable trees and demonstrates the strong ties and affection communities feel towards them, fostering a strong connection with nature.
“I am delighted that players of People’s Postcode Lottery have supported this celebration of the nation’s best loved trees.”
If you would like to help the Chained Oak gain the top accolade, go online and vote for it at www.woodlandtrust.org.uk. Voting closes at noon on September 24.
By placing a vote individuals will also be entered into our Tree of the Year prize draw – the winner will receive a £100 voucher, thanks to our partner Joules, to use in any of their stores or online.
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