Urban trees focus of competition

The Tree of the Year competition organised by the Woodland Trust, shines a spotlight on ancient trees in urban locations.

Oak tree

Ancient trees in towns and cities provide essential life support for urban wildlife, but also for the health of nature people and planet. They boost the UK’s biodiversity and are crucial to the health and wellbeing benefits of resident communities. Sadly, most ancient trees are not protected (by law) and hence very vulnerable. Testament to the fact that one of this year’s competition nominees narrowly escaped being cut down by Sheffield Council in 2017.

Change is obviously needed to ensure are given legally protected heritage status but until those cogs of bureaucracy turn, competitions such as these will help highlight the importance of (ancient) trees, too often overlooked despite their importance in maintaining biodiversity, absorbing noise and air pollution in our towns and city.

The winner will represent the UK in the European Tree of the Year competition. Voting for the Woodland Trust’s 2023 Tree of the Year is open until Sunday, 15 October. The winner will be announced on the 19th of October.

All shortlisted specimens can be visited free of charge by the public.