Two North East trees up for England's Tree of the Year 2020

 The Shoe Tree – Heaton Park, NEWCASTLE Credit: The Woodland Trust

Two of our region's trees are in the running to be named this year’s Tree of the Year! 

The Woodland Trust’s annual competition, now in its seventh year, aims to shine the spotlight on the nation‘s best trees to help drive up interest in their value and protection.

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. People can choose their favourite and crown England’s Tree of the Year for 2020. Voting closes at noon on September 24.

Flying the flag for the North East is a tree from Newcastle and another from Northumberland. 

· The Shoe Tree – Heaton Park, NEWCASTLE.

So-named as shoes - thrown by students on completion of exams – nestle in the branches. This Sycamore laden with the memories of a city, demonstrates the fashions of decades gone by.

· The Beltingham Yew – NORTHUMBERLAND

Said to be at least 900 years old, this yew stands in the north end of the graveyard of St Cuthbert's Church in Beltingham, a tiny village near Hexham. It’s a famously sacred site as St Cuthbert's body is said to have been hidden here whilst on its journey from Lindisfarne to Durham Cathedral to keep it from Viking raiders.

This competition is a very simple way to demonstrate our appreciation of trees. We had more than double the number of trees nominated by member 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.

 Darren Moorcroft, chief executive of the Woodland Trust

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.