For the last twelve years, The Woodland Trust has held an annual competition to select the Tree of the Year. The 2022 winner has just been announced and we are proud to note that the winning tree is a venerable Yew at Waverley Abbey near Farnham – a destination within the Surrey Hills that the Society has visited on a number of occasions.
As you can see from the various photos, it is a beautiful tree with roots that sprawl out above ground before plunging into the earth. Not only is it a wonderful tree but it fits so well into the landscape and ruins of Waverley Abbey – the first Cistercian Monastery established in England
The Yew won with an impressive 16% of the vote. In second place was The Portal Tree Rowan in Midlothian which took 11% of the vote. Third place went to Derbyshire’s Layering Horse Chestnut, with 10% of the votes.
This national Tree of The Year competition aims to highlight how vital trees are for our landscapes and our lives whilst celebrating ancient trees that have withstood the test of time. Each is a constant safe haven for wildlife in a changing and sometimes disconnected landscape. The Waverley Abbey Yew proved to be a wonderful example of how important trees are. Its multi-stemmed form, dotted with holes, crevices and areas of decay, is an invaluable habitat for wildlife.
Having won the UK vote, this tree now becomes the national entry for European Tree of the Year 2023. Now that really would be an accolade!
More details may be found on the Woodland Trust website.