Sheffield Huntingdon Elm to get Tree of the Year cash
A campaign to save a beloved elm tree from the chop has been awarded £500 by the organisers of the Tree of the Year awards.
The 120-year-old Huntingdon Elm, in Nether Edge, Sheffield, came second in the Woodland Trust's competition to crown the nation's favourite tree.
Sheffield City Council has controversially placed it on a list of trees to be chopped down.
The Sycamore Gap in Northumberland was the winning entry.
Tree of the Year is voted for by the public, from a list of ten British trees.
Paul Selby, who nominated the elm, has campaigned against Sheffield City Council's tree-felling programme and said the authority "fails to see" the importance of the city's street trees.
He said the elm was "nationally important".
Mr Selby said: "It's a rare tree, surviving the ravages of Dutch Elm Disease, and is host to the White Letter Hairstreak butterfly species which has declined by 97% in the last 40 years."
"I only hope the national recognition of the Huntingdon elm helps highlight the destructive folly of Sheffield Council's behaviour in felling half its mature street trees."
He said he would now work with the Save Nether Edge Trees group to decide specifically what to do.
Bryan Lodge, the council's cabinet member for environment, has said felling the tree was necessary "as a matter of public safety".
The Sycamore Gap at Hadrian's Wall, awarded Tree of the Year with 2,542 votes, will get a £1,000 grant and be entered into the European Tree of the Year competition.
Beccy Speight of the Woodland Trust said: "Trees like the Chelsea Road elm have stood for many, many years and each will have a special place in peoples' lives.
"By celebrating them and reminding people of their value, we hope to support and influence those who can ensure they continue to thrive for future generations."
England: Northumberland's famous Sycamore Gap at Hadrian's Wall.
Scotland: Ding Dong copper beech at Prestonpans Primary School, East Lothian.
Northern Ireland: The Holm Oak, Rostrevor Park.
Wales: Brimmon Oak, Newtown, Powys.
Other UK nominations included:
The Bowethorpe Oak in Lincolnshire, which once had parties held in its hollow trunk
The mulberry in the grounds of Wakefield Prison, thought to have inspired the nursery rhyme Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush
The "mother of all" Bramley Apple trees at Southwell in Nottinghamshire, planted more than 200 years ago, which had cuttings transplanted across the UK in the 19th Century