February is the month of the 2015 European Tree of the Year Competition. And the famous Lonely Tree - the Mid Wales landmark blown down in a storm - is in the running! Now it just needs votes. BBC2 Springwatch presenter Iolo Williams will appear at the Lonely Tree on Feb 8th to campaign for the award: “LET’S WIN IT FOR WALES!”
The old Lonely Tree on a hill in Mid Wales, much loved in the nearby town, has become affectionately recognised by thousands of people up and down the country since it was blown down by gales a year ago.
Following the event, news traveled around the world on social media, to people who had known the tree and also complete strangers. The old Scots Pine had played a large part in community life for over 200 years as a place for celebration and comfort, for proposing marriage or scattering ashes, so the townspeople were not prepared to let it go.
Many stories were received about the tree so it was decided to put them together in a book, which was a complete sell-out. One year later, the Lonely Tree is still alive - volunteers covered the roots - still green in places, and it is hoped that the trunk may ‘phoenix’ – with a new tree rising from the fallen one.
Having been a runner-up in the National Trust Competition - Special Places in Wales, the tree was entered into the Woodland Trust competition to name the Welsh Tree of the Year, through a public vote. People from near and far voted enthusiastically and Lonely Tree was declared Welsh Tree of the Year 2014, taking 25% of the total votes.
To mark the occasion locally, Iolo Williams, the famous and passionate environmentalist is coming to Lonely Tree Llanfyllin at 11 am on Sunday February 8th to unveil a stone plaque recording the tree’s success. It is hoped that many people will make the climb to the tree to welcome him and also hear the song performed by Ken and Ruth Powell, one of several songs written especially about the tree.
Has Lonely Tree got a chance against the mighty European competition? Well, only if it can count on votes from people all over Wales. The aim of the European competition states: “We are not searching for the oldest, the tallest, the most beautiful or the rarest of trees.
We are searching for the most lovable tree, a tree with a story that can bring a community together.” Will there be a tree in the competition as lovable….with a story that can bring a community together – as the Lonely Tree? The local organisers now hope to bring together the community of Montgomeryshire, Powys, and the whole of Wales, in support of their lovable old tree.
LET’S WIN IT FOR WALES!
The Lonely Tree Committee hopes everyone will go to www.llanfyllin.org where there is a link to www.treeoftheyear.org Voting will take place from Feb 1st until Feb 28th. The Committee asks everyone to vote and please spread the word around family and friends about the Welsh entry:
The Lonely Tree. Tree Fever is needed! AND ALSO AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE TO COME AND MEET IOLO WILLIAMS AT11am ON SUNDAY FEBRUARY 8th.
LONELY TREE COMMITTEE:
Pauline Page-Jones 01691648227/07989766220 [email protected]
David Goodman (Llanfyllin website) 07890139874 [email protected]
Peter Lewis (owner of Lonely Tree) 07966302708 [email protected]
Ann Williams (Mayor of Llanfyllin) Richard Kretchmer
More information at www.llanfyllin.org including downloads of Lonely Tree-My Story – full of pictures and stories.