Posted on: Tuesday 29 October 2019
A 400-year old sweet chestnut tree in Pontypool Park has been crowned as Wales’ 2019 Tree of the Year. The results were announced on Wednesday (23rd October) at a ceremony at the Pierhead Building at the Senedd, hosted by John Griffiths AM.
Supported by the People’s Postcode Lottery, the Woodland Trust’s annual competition is designed to highlight and celebrate the best trees in the country.
Natalie Buttriss Director Wales for the Woodland Trust (Coed Cadw) said: “The Wales Tree of the Year competition is all about highlighting and celebrating our most remarkable and special trees. We have a fantastic number of ancient and veteran trees and many notable urban trees.
“Trees across the country are constantly under threat of felling due to inappropriate developments. The Wales Tree of the Year competition is all about helping to raise the profile of trees in order to offer them better protection.
“The Old Chestnut of Pontypool is a worthy winner, a tree that is really loved appreciated the local community. Many congratulations to the Pontypool Community Council who nominated the tree and who campaigned for it to win.”
As well as putting the nation’s best trees on the map, the awards - supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery - offer a £1,000 tree care award for the winning tree. This might be spent on works to benefit the tree’s health, signage, or a community celebration.
John Griffiths AM, who’s hosting the event, said: “I’m pleased to be collaborating with the Woodland Trust to present the awards for the Wales Tree of Year competition. We are incredibly fortunate to have such rich biodiversity and landscapes across Wales and we must all do our part to preserve and protect our green spaces. Each of the seven trees shortlisted had a wonderful history to tell and I hope the awards will raise awareness of the need to protect our trees, landscapes and habitats so that future generations can enjoy them for years to come.”
Councillor Gaynor James of Pontypool Community Council, which nominated the Old Chestnut tree in the competition said: “I’m over the moon and a bit emotional. Hopefully this award will help our tree survive for many years to come”.
Councillor Fiona Cross, executive member for the environment, and biodiversity champion, said: “We were delighted to hear that the Old Sweet Chestnut Tree won, and are very grateful to Pontypool Community Council for nominating it.
“Pontypool Park is a wonderful place to visit with a variety of trees and nature to enjoy, so this is just another reason why everyone should visit the park when they get chance.
Sanjay Singh, senior programmes manager with People’s Postcode Lottery said: “We’re delighted players of People’s Postcode Lottery have supported the Woodland Trust’s search for 2019’s Tree of the Year, a competition highlighting the need to ensure our ancient trees are valued and protected. There were many fascinating entries with incredible stories behind them.”
The Tree of the Year competition is run in support of the Charter for Trees, Woods and People - an initiative that sets out 10 tree principles to embed into society for a future where people and trees are stronger together. Find out more and voice your support at treecharter.uk.
Here’s the full results of the voting:
Pontypool Sweet Chestnut, Pontypool - 606
Pembroke Dock Ginkgo, Pembroke - 464
Newtown Black Poplar, Newtown - 453
Railway Street Cherry, Cardiff - 289
Cefn Mabley Oak, Michaelston-y-Fedw, West of Newport- 262
Cathedral Road Lime, Cardiff - 207
Prisk wood Lime, Penallta - 171