Kippford hawthorn is UK’s Tree of the Year

A defiant lone hawthorn guarding the Solway Coast is the winner of the Woodland Trust’s Tree of The Year for 2021.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 15th December 2021, 3:31 pm
The winning hawthorn was nominated by tree surgeon Drew Patterson
The winning hawthorn was nominated by tree surgeon Drew Patterson

The tree at Kippford is a fine example of a native, mature tree and while not spectacular in size, it cuts a striking presence as the only tree on the windswept cockle shell beach.

Now in its seventh year, the contest highlights the UK’s favourite trees to help show their value and need for protection.

The hawthorn took 38 per cent of the vote, finishing above a Monterey cypress tree planted on a beach in Pembrokeshire, Wales, that was saved from felling this year after a passionate public campaign.

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Tree surgeon Drew Patterson, who nominated the winning hawthorn, was thrilled to see such a “beautiful specimen” take the coveted prize.

“I love this tree, it’s amazing,” said Drew (57), whose father, grandfather and great grandfather all came from Dalbeattie.

“It is a superb hawthorn and it’s incredible it has survived this well having been climbed on, battered by the winds and even bumped into by cars turning.

“It’s in a wild place and has been blown over at an angle, but it is still standing strong and proud on the edge of the beach.

“It has been there as long as I can remember and I have so many fond memories going back through the generations. I have pictures of my grandfather and mum in front of the tree.

“It is at least 60 years and could be as many as 100. Seeing the tree win this award is special.”

Adam Cormack, head of campaigning for the Woodland Trust, said the tree which is also known as the ‘Kippford Leaning Tree’ is a worthy winner.

He said: “We’ve had winners of all shapes and sizes in previous years and this is a tree that stands out for different reasons, notably because of its striking presence in an unusual setting.

“It is also a special tree for Drew because of the family significance, which highlights the importance individual trees can have. ”

The winning hawthorn tree will now go on to represent the UK in the European Tree of the Year 2022 contest.