'Defiant' Kippford hawthorn crowned UK Tree of the Year

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HawthornImage source, Drew Patterson
Image caption,
Drew Patterson - who nominated the winning tree - said it was a "beautiful specimen"

A "defiant" lone hawthorn guarding the Scottish coastline has been crowned the Woodland Trust's UK Tree of the Year.

The tree at Kippford has been described as "not spectacular in size" but having a "striking presence".

It is the second year in a row the honour has gone to southern Scotland after "The Survivor" rowan in 2020.

Having seen off nine other rivals, the hawthorn will now go on to represent the UK in the European Tree of the Year competition.


The hawthorn took 38% of the vote which was twice the share of the second-placed Monterey cypress tree from Saundersfoot in Wales which was saved from felling this year after a public campaign.

Third place went to an "exceptional" parasol beech in Parkanaur Forest Park, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland.

Tree surgeon Drew Patterson, 57, who nominated the winning hawthorn, said he was thrilled to see such a "beautiful specimen" take the prize.

His father, grandfather and great-grandfather all came from nearby Dalbeattie, so it is a tree the family knows well.

Image source, Drew Patterson
Image caption,
The tree from southern Scotland saw off nine other rivals for the honour

"I love this tree, it's amazing," he said.

"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."

He said he had "fond memories" of the tree and has pictures of his grandfather and mother in front of it.

"It is at least 60 years and could be as many as 100," he said.

"Seeing the tree win this award is special."

'Special tree'

Adam Cormack, head of campaigning for the Woodland Trust, said the tree - which is also known as the "Kippford Leaning Tree" - was 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.

"Lots of trees are equally meaningful to someone, providing a connection and treasured memories."

Image source, Woodland
Image caption,
The second-placed Monterey cypress tree from Saundersfoot in Wales was saved from felling this year after a public campaign
Image source, Woodland Trust
Image caption,
Northern Ireland's parasol beech at Parkanaur Forest Park in County Tyrone came third

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