Last Updated on 18 September 2023 by Ann-Marie Nye
A tree outside Southernhay United Reformed Church in Exeter has been shortlisted among the nation’s top ten favourites, and needs your vote!
The Tree of the Year awards takes place annually and is organised by the Woodland Trust.
The winner will be announced on 19 October.
The Holm Oak blitz tree outside Southernhay is not ancient but has an extraordinary history.
During the Second World War, on 4 May 1942, 20 bombers flew over Exeter in the middle of the night and devastated the city in little more than an hour.
Much of the landscape and many buildings were destroyed.
Southernhay URC in Dix’s Field, was among the buildings that suffered extensive damage, but the oak tree, which stands mere feet from the church’s front door, amazingly survived.
Since that time, the tree is admired by locals for its resilience and is seen as a symbol of hope and strength.
Image: Simon Pryor/Woodland Trust.