The iconic tree, made famous by legenary outlaw Robin Hood, beat off fierce competition from Old Knobbley in Essex and the Ickwell Oak in Bedfordshire to poll 18 per cent of almost 13,000 votes cast in just eight days earlier this month.
It will now represent England alongside the winning entries from Scotland (Lady’s Tree) and Wales (The Lonely Tree) in the European Tree of the Year contest, run by the Environmental Partnership Association, which takes place in February 2015.
Woodland Trust chief executive Beccy Speight said: “The number of votes and amount of interest this contest has generated really demonstrate how much people love their trees and I can’t think of a better representative for England than the Major Oak.”
The Major Oak is managed by Nottinghamshire County Council, and forms part of the wider Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve.
Coun John Knight, committee chairman for culture at the council said: “We are delighted that the Major Oak has been named as the Woodland Trust’s Tree of the Year in England and wish to thank everyone who has taken time to vote. It is one of the most iconic trees worldwide.
“We are rightly proud of our famous tree. Legend has it that it was the hideout for Robin Hood and his Merry Men, and the Major Oak is a fascinating natural habitat. This award is more fantastic recognition for Sherwood Forest.
“It is also significant news as we are enjoying a real year of celebration in 2014 with Sherwood Forest celebrating its 60th anniversary as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.”
Find out more about the contest and the Woodland Trust’s campaign at woodlandtrust.org.uk.