Allerton Oak in Liverpool named England's Tree of the Year

23 October 2019, 08:08 | Updated: 23 October 2019, 10:43

Liverpool's 1,000-year-old Allerton Oak has been named England's Tree of the Year.

Mentioned in the Domesday Book, it received more than 34% of the 11,000 public votes to win the competition.

The tree is in Calderstones Park and local legend tells of a medieval court, known as a Hundred Court, that met under its branches as officials had no courthouse.

The Colchester Castle Sycamore, which sits atop the Grade I listed building in Essex, came second, and the mythical Dragon Tree on the Isle of Wight was a "close third".

Liverpool City Council is working with the Mersey Forest to preserve the Allerton Oak and has already invested around £70,000 this year - but the tree's value is "conservatively estimated" at more than £500,000.

There were separate winners from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland but the Woodland Trust said the English tree would represent the UK in the European Tree of the Year contest, which begins in February.

No British tree has ever won the top prize, although Wales' Brimmon Oak has come close, taking second in 2017.

David Domoney, an award-winning horticulturist, supported the competition and said: "The entrants this year have been outstanding and illustrate perfectly the unique nature of our native trees.

"I wish the tree the best of luck as it enters the European Tree of the Year competition. Please vote for the British tree."