Brighstone’s Dragon Tree is in the running to be named The Woodland Trust’s Tree Of The Year.
The oak features a huge snaking bough and one of its limbs forms a bridge over the Buddle Brook. It is thought the oak took its unique shape after it was blown down in a storm but, supported by its existing branches, managed to re-root.
A local legend suggests the tree was once a dragon that terrorised locals, before it was felled by a knight and turned into wood.
It is one of ten shortlisted by the charity for its annual competition celebrating the nation’s special trees.
The Dragon Tree faces competition the Allerton Oak in Liverpool, and London’s Fallen Tree in Richmond Park.
In the running are:
- Allerton Oak, Liverpool, Merseyside (Oak)
- Dragon Tree, Brighstone, Isle of Wight (Oak)
- Kingley Vale Great Yew, Chichester, West Sussex (Yew)
- Addison’s Oak, Bristol (Oak)
- Fallen Tree, London (Oak)
- London Plane, Bryanston, Dorset (London Plane)
- Twisted, Thetford, Norfolk (Conifer)
- North Circular Cork Oak, London (Oak)
- The Colchester Castle Sycamore, Colchester, Essex (Sycamore)
- The Drive Oak, Gloucester, Gloucestershire (Oak)
Adam Cormack, head of campaigning at the Woodland Trust said:
“We really hope the Isle of Wight will get behind the Dragon Tree. The Tree of the Year competition is all about highlighting and celebrating the nation’s most remarkable and special trees and this one is certainly that.
“Trees across the country are constantly under threat of felling due to inappropriate developments. The Tree of the Year competition is all about helping to raise the profile of trees in order to offer them better protection.
“All of our shortlisted trees look amazing and each of them has a wonderful story to tell. We’re sure that the public will show their passion and get behind their favourite. The shortlist includes trees from all over England – from Liverpool to the Isle of Wight.
“We have some strong contenders for the 2019 crown and we would encourage people to vote to support their favourite tree. We’re also calling on members of local Tree Charter branches to lend their support and get behind their favourite entry.”
Supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, the winning tree gets a £1,000 tree care award. This might be spent on works to benefit the tree’s health, signage, or a community celebration. There are £500 awards for runners-up.
Voting closes at noon on 27 September.