Tree of the Year

Creating a symbol of hope – During the fundraising campaign for the purchase of Carrifran, Philip, Myrtle and the other fundraisers in The Wildwood Group, created and distributed about 100k copies of a brochure, with the slogan “Where one tree survives…. a million trees will grow”, laid over an eye-catching photo of a single rowan tree, surviving on a small crag. Philip had to make three trips to the site, in different light conditions, before getting a photo that Myrtle was satisfied with.

Twenty years on, this rowan tree looks very different, as it is buttressed by suckers from its base – previously scarred by feral goats – and surrounded by its children, springing up from berries scattered by the wind and dispersed by visiting birds.

The Survivor Rowan is a symbol of what BFT can achieve and why we selected this tree as our entry in the Scotland‘s Tree of the Year 2020 competition. This Rowan tree is not majestic or ancient like many of the other entries – but it is symbol of hope.

In years to come, the rowan will be obscured from view and will be just one tree among many, demonstrating our journey towards landscape scale ecological restoration and a return to nature in part of the denuded hills of southern Scotland.