North Dorset tree shortlisted for England's Tree of the Year 2019
Three enormous trees stand west of the River Stour between Bryanston School and Blandford Forum, a few hundred yards south of the school church. The central tree, a London Plane, is just shorter than Nelson's Column, making it the tallest broadleaf tree in the UK and one of the biggest in Europe.
In 2015, Bryanston school pupils Hannah and Robert succeeded in scaling and measuring the tree with a 100m tape measure attached to a pole. The height from the ground to the highest bud was confirmed as 49.67m.
Bryanston School Head Woodman Toby Stayner told BBC Radio Solent's Laurence Herdman: "It was originally planted in 1749 to mark the centenary of the execution of Charles I."
In total, ten trees have been shortlisted by the Woodland Trust, with the winner to be chosen by a public vote.
Contenders also include a Dragon Tree at Brighstone on the Isle of Wight. This oak has huge snaking boughs, one of which forms a bridge over the brook below. It is thought it took on its unique shape after it was blown down in a storm and managed to re-root, though legend suggests it was a dragon slain by a knight before turning to wood.
England's Tree of the Year 2019 winner could compete in the 2020 European Tree of the Year award. Judges will select the UK representative from the winner of national contests in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Each winner will also be awarded £1,000 to be spent on improving the tree's health, signage or a community celebration. Voting closes on 27 September.
South West unemployment drops 2.5%
BBC Business News
the South West has continued to fall to a low of less than 2.5%, according to the Office
for National Statistics (ONS).
The latest 2.4% figure of people aged 16-64 unemployed between May and July 2019 is lower than the UK-wide figure of just under 3.8%.
figures also showed earnings nationally grew at an annual pace of 3.8%.
The ONS said
rising employment was being driven mainly by more women in work, partly due to
the rise in the state pension age.
A meeting of governors was told the hospital's finances were £400,000 better off than planned, partly due to a government award that arrived to late to be included in last year's figures.
But finance director Paul Goddard said there was concern about an ongoing overspend on agency staff - currently costing £500,000 a month.
Trust chief executive Patricia Miller said the hospital had recruited between 15 and 20 non-EU staff during the financial year to try and tackle staff shortages, covering the initial cost of their accommodation and arranging visas and transport.
A31 Dorset westbound severe accident, from B3073 to A349.
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