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The Sycamore Gap’s successor? Elizabeth I-era sweet chestnut in Wrexham wins coveted Tree of the Year prize once awarded to beloved tree that was felled at Hadrian’s Wall


  •  The 483-year-old tree will now compete for European Tree of the Year title
  •  Crouch Oak in Surrey second and twisted sweet chestnut in Greenwich third 
  • Investigations continue into who cut down the Sycamore Gap 

A sweet chestnut tree planted in the 1500s has been named UK Tree of the Year – as investigations continue into who cut down the Sycamore Gap.

The 483-year-old tree in Acton Park, Wrexham, will now go on to face competitors from across Europe for the continent’s title, known as the ‘Eurovision for trees’ by campaigners. 

The tree has stood since the reign of Elizabeth I and survived being stripped for firewood after the Second World War.

Second place in the competition was the Crouch Oak in Addlestone, Surrey, known as the Queen Elizabeth picnic tree. Third was a twisted sweet chestnut in Greenwich Park, London, which was reputedly planted in honour of Charles II.

Rob McBride, an ambassador for the European Tree of the Year competition and Wrexham resident, said locals were ‘chuffed’ at the sweet chestnut’s victory.

The 483-year-old tree in Acton Park, Wrexham has been named UK Tree of the Year

The 483-year-old tree in Acton Park, Wrexham has been named UK Tree of the Year

Second place in the competition was the Crouch Oak in Addlestone, Surrey, known as the Queen Elizabeth picnic tree

Second place in the competition was the Crouch Oak in Addlestone, Surrey, known as the Queen Elizabeth picnic tree

Third was a twisted sweet chestnut in Greenwich Park, London, which was reputedly planted in honour of Charles II

Third was a twisted sweet chestnut in Greenwich Park, London, which was reputedly planted in honour of Charles II

The campaigner for ancient trees told the Telegraph: ‘The importance of urban trees can’t be overemphasised. I met people in the park on Saturday going there to get away from their troubles and wind down and take in the greenery.

‘This majestic towering tree means Wrexham has gone straight to the Premier League of the tree league. You feel chuffed to be standing there next to it. The Woodland Trust has let Ryan know and I’m sure he is pretty chuffed too.’

The importance of historic trees to the British public was exemplified in September by the extensive condemnation towards the felling of the 50ft Sycamore Gap tree in Northumberland. 

An outspoken former lumberjack arrested on suspicion on feeling the 2016 UK Tree of the Year claimed it would have been impossible for him to have done it.

Walter Renwick, who has repeatedly given interviews declaring his innocence, says he is the most boring person in the world but has started wearing a wig to disguise himself.

Two weeks after the apparent act of vandalism, a large section of trunk was lifted off Hadrian’s Wall by a crane on tracks.

A memorial bench or sculpture telling the history of the site could be made out of parts of the tree, according to The Telegraph. A final decision on what will happen at the site will be subject to a public consultation.

For the time being the stump is being kept in place and is behind a protective barrier because it could generate new shoots. Plans will be made to keep grazing sheep off the stump, allowing any shoots which emerge to grow.



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