Woodland Trust initiative examines 'Robin Hood' tree's famous roots


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An oak tree reputedly used as a hideout by Robin Hood and a sycamore credited with starting the trade union movement are among the leading contenders in a competition to find Britain’s best trees.

The Woodland Trust is calling on the public to put forward entries for English Tree of the Year by 29 September and to vote on a winner during October. The winner will be entered in the European Tree of the Year competition – the conservation world’s Eurovision – alongside the best Scottish and Welsh trees.

The Trust hopes that the competition will highlight the importance of individual trees and help secure greater protection and support, as many remain at risk from development, disease and vandalism.

Tolpuddle Martyrs Tree: The ‘Martyrs’ – labourers seen as the first trade union – met under the Dorset sycamore in the 1830s. (Alamy)

Woodland Trust chief executive Beccy Speight said: “Many trees that we take for granted in our everyday lives have stood the test of time and have so many stories to tell.

Croft Castle sweet chestnuts: The 400-year-old trees are said to have grown from seeds salvaged from a Spanish Armada shipwreck. (Alamy)

“We want people to give these cherished trees the recognition they deserve by nominating them in this contest [through the Woodland Trust website].”