This is one of the 12 best trees in the country. And it’s one of ours.
Known as ‘Holly on the Hill’, it is a couple of centuries old, and it was today named as one of the finalists in the Woodland Trust’s Tree Of The Year competition.
The tree dominates the landscape in Hawnby, found in the North York Moors National Park, east of Thirsk.
A panel of experts picked their favourites from hundreds of ancient and veteran trees, described as “cathedrals of nature”, which have been recorded by volunteers since the pandemic began.
A shortlist of 12 trees has been compiled for the annual contest run by the Woodland Trust from the charity’s “hall of fame” for very old and important trees, the Ancient Tree Inventory (ATI).
The public can now vote for their favourite tree to win the Tree of the Year competition for 2022, and go on to compete for the UK in the European Tree of the Year contest next year.
This year, the Woodland Trust is using the competition to highlight the importance of rare ancient and veteran trees which mostly have no legal protection.
‘Holly on the Hill’
Holly on the Hill, Hawnby, North Yorkshire, which stands out in the landscape, is an outgrown coppice, with a trunk that is a collection of stems that have fused and grown together. It could have been there since the late 19th century.
Find out more and vote on the Woodland Trust website
That is despite these trees, such as our oaks which are home for 329 species, being a haven for wildlife, important carbon stores and historically and cultural significant.
Woodland Trust head of campaigning Adam Cormack said: “We believe that now is the time to give these living legends the legal status they deserve.
“We all want to be able help to protect these wonderful old trees for centuries to come.”
Competition judge Tom Reed said: “We selected the trees based on their size and significance for their species and also looked for trees steeped in history as well as trees that had high ecological, aesthetic or cultural value.
“It’s over to the public to pick a favourite from that impressive list.”