Trees are wonderful, they are beautiful to look at and they offer homes to wildlife and shade on a hot day like today.
European Tree of the Year has been running for four years now as a way of celebrating the most iconic trees across the continent. It is a way of drawing attention to trees that have played important roles in history or that are threatened by development (you can read here about a tree that is threatened with destruction as it stands in the way of the controversial high speed railway line that would link London to the north of England).
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. You can nominate your tree here.
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. This year we will be selecting
just one tree from this public vote to represent the UK in Europe in 2018.
Sadly even a winning tree is not guaranteed protection. Shockingly Sheffield City Council in Yorkshire seems to be on a mission to rid the city of trees! It is intent on removing street trees, including a beautiful avenue of lime trees and an old elm tree that is resistant to Dutch elm disease and home to rare white letter hairstreak butterflies. There is huge opposition to the council's moves, but they seem to be ploughing on regardless. You can sign a petition to save the butterfly hosting elm here.
Do you have a favourite tree? Feel free to write about it in the comments section and if you're in the UK, remember to nominate it for Tree of the Year before the end of the month!