Newark's saved sycamore tree shortlisted for national prize

  • Published
Sycamore treeImage source, Protect Newark's Green Spaces
Image caption,
The nominated tree is the oldest of the four on the site

A tree saved from being cut down to make way for a car park extension has been shortlisted in a national competition.

The sycamore is one of four trees in Newark, Nottinghamshire, that were due to be felled.

Campaigners ran petitions and even slept on the site in protest.

The oldest of the four trees is now in the running, with nine other contenders, to become the Woodland Trust's Tree of the Year.

The shortlist was selected from hundreds of nominations across social media, the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) said.

Image caption,
Campaigners said the nomination was "mind-blowing"

Adam Cormack, head of campaigning for the Woodland Trust, said the competition was about acknowledging the "wow moment" you can get from a tree.

"This could be standing under a magnificent old oak or noticing the autumn colours of a street tree on the school run," he said.

"Trees can make us happy, healthy, thoughtful - or upset when they are lost from our lives."

He said the initiative also had a "serious message".

"Many of our oldest and most special trees in the UK have no form of legal protection.

"It's time that our oldest trees got the same protection as our oldest buildings," he said.

Newark and Sherwood District Council entered a legally-binding agreement in 2019 that committed them to creating 36 more spaces at the Balderton Gate car park.

After months of protests a new deal was made, saving the trees and green space.

The nominated tree, which is also the tallest of the four, won the Woodland Trust's Tree for the Week prize following the successful campaign.

Image source, LDRS
Image caption,
Campaigners Wendy Patterson, Darrell Pointing, and Pamela Ball slept outside to protect the trees from being felled

Jenni Harding, of Protect Newark's Green Spaces, said: "The whole town is thrilled about this, it is putting Newark on the map.

"It is so exciting and a vindicate that everything we went through and the sleepless nights were all worth it."

Nominees for the award also include a sweet chestnut tree in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire, with a girth of more than 11m (36ft).

Follow BBC East Midlands on Facebook, on Twitter, or on Instagram. Send your story ideas to

Related Topics

Related Internet Links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.