Oak branches out to best in Europe contest

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The Allerton Oak in Calderstones Park. Pic Maisie Harvey © JMU Journalism

Voting will close soon on the European Tree of the Year awards, with campaigners hoping that Liverpool’s entry has taken the ‘root’ to success.

The 1,000-year-old Allerton Oak, which has already won the UK Tree of the Year competition held by the Grantham-based Woodland Trust, is competing against entries from all across Europe.

Belgium’s ‘Tree of Freedom’, the ‘Witch Tree’ of the Netherlands and ‘The Chestnut Tree from Vales’ in Portugal are all finalists alongside the Liverpool’s millennium oak in Calderstones Park.

Liverpool Councillor, Laura Robertson-Collins, is active in campaigning for environmental issues and she is hoping that the local bid will be successful.

She told JMU Journalism: “Our city is full of lovely parks, including Stanley and Croxteth parks, as well as those in the south of the city, and this tree means so much to so many people in Liverpool and beyond.”

YouTube: Philip Formby/Woodland Trust

She also mentioned the importance of conservation, and how awards like tree of the year, can help generate more interest in the environment, adding: “I know that the Allerton Oak being a finalist in the competition will help get people more passionate about their natural cultural landmarks.

“I am aware of the excitement generated when the tree was in the ‘UK Tree of the Year’ contest last year, as people were stopping me in the street to discuss this.”

Acorns from the Scouse oak were sent off to service members during the Second World War, as it was believed to be a token of good luck.

It was also part of a once-favoured spot by John Lennon and Paul McCartney during their youth and the tree has cemented itself as a cultural landmark in the intervening years.

Voting closes on February 29th on the European Tree of the Year website, and both the Woodland Trust and Liverpool Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram have taken to Twitter to urge the public to vote for the Allerton Oak.

The winner will be announced in March.

About Charlie Burgess, JMU Journalism