And the winner of Welsh Tree of the Year is … Llanfyllin’s Lonely Tree!
The competition is over, the votes have been counted and verified and the Woodland Trust (Coed Cadw) has revealed that the Welsh Tree of the Year for 2014 is the Lonely Tree of Llanfyllin.
“the most lovable tree”
Throughout the summer and early autumn, Welsh people were busy voting for their favourite tree. It was all part of a competition organised by the Woodland Trust (Coed Cadw) which aimed to select the Welsh Tree of the Year for 2014. The aim was not to find the oldest, the tallest, the biggest, the most beautiful or the rarest tree, but the most lovable, a tree that could bring a community together. Thousands of votes were cast at events up and down the country, at the Royal Welsh Show, the National Eisteddfod, the Welsh Game Fair, the Usk Show and the Royal Welsh Spring Festival, as well as on the internet.
25% of all the votes!
Now the winner has been revealed. It’s the Lonely Tree of Llanfyllin, which shot to national prominence at the start of this year and which netted fully a quarter of all the votes cast! Standing on top of Greenhall Hill just to the east of Llanfyllin, this mighty Scots Pine used to dominate the skyline, watching over the town for over 200 years. Local people would visit it to carve their initials, propose marriage or scatter ashes. But in February it was blown down in the gales. Taking advice from experts, the local community came together to tip over 30 tons of soil over the roots. The aim was to ensure that any intact roots could still function, allowing the tree to become a phoenix, continuing to live and grow but from a reclining position.
“thanks to everyone who voted”
The Lonely Tree was nominated for the competition by its owner, Cllr Peter Lewis. He said, “This is fantastic news! It’s put Llanfyllin on the map. It shows what the Lonely Tree means to the community. When it succumbed to the winds in February the community pulled together to save it. Many thanks to everyone who voted, locally and nationally.”
Montgomeryshire MP Glyn Davies said, “There has been an impressive campaign locally to ensure it won…..The tree is very special to the area. It …is part of the landscape and of the community of Llanfyllin. The way people came together to help save the tree is an impressive example of the community spirit which makes Llanfyllin and Montgomeryshire such a special place. Congratulations to the residents of Llanfyllin for this well-deserved title.”
Next stop Europe!
The Lonely Tree will now be nominated as the Welsh entry in the European Tree of the Year Award 2015, competing against trees from around the continent – all winners of their own national contests. EUROPE – HERE WE COME!
Lonely Tree Committee: Dave Goodman, Pauline Page-Jones, Richard Kretchmer, Peter Lewis, Ann Williams.
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