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Iconic Grantham oak is nominated for Tree of the Year title

An iconic Grantham tree has been nominated for Tree of the Year.

The Grantham oak in Belton Lane has been included in the shortlist as part of The Woodland Trust's annual competition, now in its seventh year.

The competition throws the spotlight on the nation's best trees to help drive up interest in their value and protection. The contest, supported by players of People's Postcode Lottery, takes place across Britain, with Wales and Scotland also each to crown a winner.

Joseph Coles and Denise Tegerdine, of the Woodland Trust, by the iconic oak in Belton Lane, Grantham. (5985639)
Joseph Coles and Denise Tegerdine, of the Woodland Trust, by the iconic oak in Belton Lane, Grantham. (5985639)

The Woodland Trust says the giant oak was here centuries before its neighbours. Last year its future looked doubtful due to groundworks near its roots, but thanks to a groundswell of support from the local council and campaigners work has taken place to add a cordon and protective surface around the tree so it can live on for many years to come.

Darren Moorcroft, chief executive of The Woodland Trust, said: “Easily overlooked and routinely undervalued, trees deserve their moment in the sun. This competition is a very simple way to demonstrate our appreciation of trees.

“We had more than double the number of trees nominated by members of the public this spring compared to past years. This is perhaps no surprise given that lockdown had so many of us slowing down and taking more note of nature on our doorsteps, a boost for our mental health and wellbeing.

“At a time when we’re fighting both a climate and nature crisis, it is undeniable that trees are needed now more than ever.They are nature’s most powerful weapon in this fight. This competition is a very simple way to show that people do care about trees, so please visit our website and vote for your favourite!”

The process is simple – the tree with the most votes wins. As well as putting the nation’s best trees on the map, the awards -supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery - offer a £1,000 tree care award for each winning tree.

Laura Chow, head of charities at People’s Postcode Lottery said: “The competition has unearthed some remarkable trees and demonstrates the strong ties and affection communities feel towards them, fostering a strong connection with nature. I am delighted that players of People’s Postcode Lottery have supported this celebration of the nation’s best loved trees.”

The Woodland Trust’s Tree of the Year competition runs in England, Scotland and Wales.Each country, thanks to the public vote, will have its own champion.Just one of the three national winners will be selected to represent the UK in the 2021 European Tree of the Year contest.

Take a closer look at the shortlist and vote for your favourite tree now at www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/treeoftheyear Voting closes at noon on September 24. By placing a vote individuals will also be entered into the Tree of the Year prize draw – the winner will receive a £100 voucher thanks to partner Joules, to use in any of their stores or online.

Whittled down from hundreds of nominations sent in by the general public during lockdown, a shortlist of ten trees is now up for the public vote.By going online at woodlandtrust.org.uk people can choose their favourite and crown England’s Tree of the Year for 2020. Voting closes at noon on September 24.

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