Vote for the Original Bramley apple and crown it ‘Tree of the Year’
The tree which is known as the “mother” of the Bramley apple needs your votes to be crowned England’s ‘Tree of the Year’ after being shortlisted by conservation charity the Woodland Trust. Entries close at 5pm on 9 October 2016 so make sure to vote now!
Planted from a pip over 200 years ago in a Southwell garden, around 50 years later it was owned by local butcher called Matthew Bramley. He gave permission for a nursery to grow cuttings from the tree provided they were in his name and a legend was born. Sadly the tree now suffers from an incurable honey fungus.
The Trust, thanks to support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, is inviting the public to choose from 10 trees across England, with the winner going forward to the European Tree of the Year competition in early 2017.
The winning tree in England will also benefit from a “Tree LC” care grant of £1,000, with any tree receiving over 1,000 votes receiving a grant of £500. The grant can be used to arrange a health check from an arboriculturalist, provide interpretation or educational materials or simply just hold a celebratory event in honour of the tree.
A panel of experts in each country whittled down nearly 200 public nominations to create shortlists based on the nominees’ story, how they would make use of the grant and visual appeal of the tree; 10 trees were chosen in England, seven in Wales and six in both Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Reg Harris, Arboricultural Director of Urban Forestry Ltd, who nominated the tree said: “The Original Bramley Apple is such an important tree, and is so quintessentially English, that maybe we have all underestimated its significance, both culturally and economically. As it’s on its last legs, it would be fantastic if it could win the Tree of the Year, which would be a fitting tribute to a tree that has fed our nation.”
Beccy Speight, Woodland Trust Chief Executive, said: “Trees like the Original Bramley apple have stood for hundreds, if not thousands of years and each will have a special place in peoples’ lives. By celebrating them and reminding people of their value we hope to support and influence those who can ensure they continue to thrive for future generations.”
Clara Govier, head of charities at People’s Postcode Lottery said: “We’re delighted our players are supporting the Woodland Trust and providing the opportunity for communities all over Great Britain to celebrate these fantastic trees and care for them long into the future.”
The European Tree of the Year contest, run by the Environmental Partnership Association since 2011, looks for the best loved trees from countries across Europe. The 2016 winner, receiving 72,000 of the nearly 230,000 votes cast was the ‘The Oldest Tree of Bátászék’ in Hungary.
The UK is home to one of the largest populations of ancient and veteran trees in Europe and over 9,000 people have signed up to the Trust’s V.I Trees campaign to ensure all Trees of National Special Interest have better long term protection from the threats posed by climate change, development, pests and diseases.
Everyone who votes will be in with a chance of winning a two night stay at a DoubleTree by Hilton hotel of their choice. To see all the shortlists and vote for the Original Bramley apple visit www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/treeoftheyear
Photo credit: Robert Rathbone