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An ancient tree at Waverley Abbey, Surrey
Photograph: Shutterstock

This magnificent yew has just been crowned UK tree of the year

The annual competition highlights how much our oldest trees need protection

Ella Doyle
Written by
Ella Doyle

There’s an awful lot of bad news around at the moment, isn’t there? Well, since it’s a Friday, how about some good stuff to see in the weekend? We’ve got just the thing: it’s about very nice trees. 

We’re not one to call one tree better than another. But it turns out there is a little competition, even in the tree world. One rather good-looking twisty trunk has just taken the crown for UK Tree of the Year in the Woodland Trust’s annual comp. The ancient yew is found in Surrey and its roots surround the ruins of the famous Waverley Abbey, the first-ever monastery in Britain, founded in 1128 by the Cistercian religious order.

It took home an impressive 16 percent of total votes, beating an arch-shaped rowan tree in Midlothian, known as the ‘portal tree’. There were 12 trees in total on the shortlist, which make up the charity’s annual ‘hall of fame’ of ancient and important trees. 

Now that the Waverley Abbey tree has won, it’ll go on to represent the UK in the European tree of the year competition (which is a bit like Eurovision, but for trees). The competition is a good ’ol reminder of just how important it is to protect our beloved trees, as ancient yews don’t get the same legal protection as old buildings and the like. You can find out more about the Woodland Trust’s Ancient Tree Inventory here

ICYMI: Europe’s most beautiful castle is apparently right here in the UK.

Plus: an epic new walking trail links up the most beautiful parts of northern England.

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