NOTTS: Forest and Tree Hunter back bid to land Euro crown

Tree hunter Rob McBride  with the Major Oak
Tree hunter Rob McBride with the Major Oak

Nottingham Forest and The Tree Hunter Rob McBride have joined the campaign to get Nottinghamshire’s famous Major Oak named European Tree of the year.

The fabled hiding place of Robin Hood needs every vote it can get in a competition to find the continent’s top tree for 2015.

Nottingham Forest Football Club will announce details of the contest over the tannoy at its next two Sky Bet Championship matches at the City Ground against Bolton Wanderers this Saturday and the following midweek clash with AFC Bournemouth – urging supporters to get online and vote!

MORE ON THIS STORY: Sherwood Forest’s Major Oak is voted England’s tree of the year

VIDEO: Why Major Oak needs YOUR VOTE

Rob McBride is currently involved in a ‘Tree-mendous Challenge’ to visit all of the entrants bidding for the European crown. Public votes count during the month of February as part of the contest being organised by the Environmental Partnership Association. Mr McBride earned his nickname ‘The Tree Hunter’ after working on the Woodland Trust’s UK-wide Ancient Tree Hunt to record important trees on an interactive map and has appeared on national TV to talk about his work.

He has already visited the Major Oak in Sherwood Forest as part of the challenge and said: “We really want people to get voting! The Major Oak is a wonderful tree but we are lagging behind some of the eastern European countries in this contest and need everyone to get behind this wonderful tree.

“I was lucky enough to go behind the fence at Sherwood and see the Major Oak close up with one of the county council rangers and it is awe-inspiring. I have a real cultural connection to trees and it is important that everyone gets behind this ancient oak which is known throughout the world for its links to Robin Hood.”

Meanwhile, Nottingham Forest FC are also getting behind the campaign in its matchday programme, pitchside with its stadium screens and through its mascot Robin Hood.

A Nottingham Forest Football Club spokesman said: “The club are more than happy to get behind the campaign and urge all Forest fans to vote.”

Councillor John Knight, Committee Chairman for Culture, at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “The Major Oak touches people’s hearts and their imagination. It is one of the most iconic and best known trees in the world and it would be a fitting tribute if it could win this European award. We hope everyone can get behind the campaign.”

This year’s winner will be announced on March 5 with the awards ceremony taking place on April 22 at the EU Parliament in Brussels.

After hosting the awards ceremony in the EU Parliament Brussels last year, Rob promised there would be an English tree in the contest for 2015, as there had not been an English entrant previously. The Woodland Trust has successfully taken on the task of bringing the English entrant to the contest with the Major Oak winning England’s Tree of the Year.

More than 1.1 million votes have been cast for participating trees in the five years since the contest started. It has grown year on year, (just like the trees!), and now it has fourteen participating countries.

The winning tree last year, an Elm tree from Bulgaria, polled over 77.000 votes. So, this year’s winning tree has some target to beat!

Please get behind Sherwood Forest’s Major Oak as it competes in Europe for the European Tree of the Year title. There is a public vote throughout February, and you can register your vote by clicking HERE