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Welsh tree in the running to be crowned European Tree of the Year

01 Feb 2024 4 minute read
The 480-year-old Sweet Chestnut Tree in Wrexham

A 480-year old Sweet Chestnut tree in Wales is in the running to be crowned European Tree of the Year – with public votes open from today.

Hot on the heels of being crowned the UK’s Tree of the Year at the end of last year, the stately tree at Wrexham’s Acton Park is well loved by locals for its history, value and beauty – and is often used as the centrepiece of picnics and local tree parties.

It previously secured 17% of the overall votes for the Woodland Trust’s 2023 UK ‘Tree of the Year’ competition, which focused on celebrating ancient and veteran trees in urban spaces across the UK.

European contest

The European Tree of the Year contest originated in 2011 and was inspired by the popular Tree of the Year contest organised in the Czech Republic by the Czech Environmental Partnership Foundation for many years. The European round is a finale, consisting of the winners of the national rounds.

Every year in February, the online voting for the European Tree of the Year is organised by Environmental Partnership Association (EPA). The first European voting was organized in 2011, and since then the number of countries involved in the contest has risen to 16.

The Sweet Chestnut

The tree itself has an impressive circumference of 6.1m and a height of 24m. It has withstood many challenges during its half-millennium, from post-war plundering of the park for firewood in the forties to dozens of deadly storms, including that of 2021 when many neighbouring trees lost limbs or were toppled completely.

The 480-year-old Sweet Chestnut Tree in Wrexham

To celebrate the Sweet Chestnut’s continued recognition, Wrexham Borough County Council have planned two public events at Acton Park which put the tree at the heart of the community’s celebrations.


Acton Park Dog Show is set to take place on Sunday 11 February from 11.30am -4pm.

With Acton Park being heavily used by local dog walkers, this event – taking place right in front of the Sweet Chestnut tree – will offer eleven different classes for dog owners to sign up to, and a nail-biting final for Best in Show. Stallholders will also be offering refreshments and woodland crafts, and people will be able to vote for the Sweet Chestnut as their European Tree of the Year.

The Acton Park Dog Show is open to all; classes will come with a £1 entry fee with proceeds going to charity.

A self-guided trail around Acton Park, Love your Trees – Valentines Special takes place on Wednesday 14 February 1-3pm will encourage families and couples to visit twelve significant trees around the park – including the Sweet Chestnut – learning facts about the history and biodiversity of each.

An accompanying ‘love themed’ worksheet for families will also offer chances to win prizes, and a photobooth at the site of the Sweet Chestnut tree will encourage plenty of shares on social media – and hopefully, even more votes! The Love Your Trees Valentines Event is free to attend and open to all.

The Welsh public is encouraged to vote for the Wrexham Sweet Chestnut and help to crown it 2024’s European Tree of the Year; voting is open now at:


Trees are well-known and celebrated in Wrexham; in 2022 Coed Cadw (the Woodland Trust in Wales) awarded a total of £294,845 from its Emergency Tree Fund to Wrexham County Borough Council to support the Wrexham Forest partnership project, which seeks to increase trees and woodland across the county. Through implementing its Tree and Woodland Strategy and engaging partners, businesses, groups and individuals, the project is creating a county-wide, collective commitment to enhancing and protecting trees and woodland.

Wrexham Borough County Council has also made its own public ‘Woodland Pledge’ to help protect trees and woodlands across the county borough – and encourage anyone to join, including those who are part of a local business, community group or organisation.

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