500-year-old Powys oak is European Tree of the Year runner-up

Credit: Tracey Williams

An ancient pollarded oak thought to be over 500 years old has come second in the European Tree of the Year competition.

The tree, near Newtown, has been cared for by one family for generations. Even their family wedding photographs from 1901 were taken under its spreading canopy.

But in 2015 it was threatened with destruction by a new bypass. Mervyn Jones, who farms the land, campaigned hard to save the tree with Tree Hunter Rob McBride and after a 5,000 signature petition to the Welsh Assembly, the bypass route was adjusted.

The UK is rightly renowned for having some of the best examples of ancient trees in Europe, so it’s good to see them finally achieving recognition in the competition.

– Beccy Speight, Chief Executive, Woodland Trust