County champion tree found at Croft Castle

Ledbury Reporter: Looking up at the county champion Douglas fir Croft Castle. Picture courtesy of the National Trust. Looking up at the county champion Douglas fir Croft Castle. Picture courtesy of the National Trust.

A NATIONAL Trust property near Leominster has unearthed a county champion tree.

Croft Castle and Parkland's countryside ranger team discovered the county's tallest Douglas fir tree while carring out improvement works to the walks and paths in Fishpool Valley.

The tree stands at 57.6m in height and has been added to the UK tree register as the tallest Douglas fir in Herefordshire.

Iain Carter, countryside manager, said: “As soon as we saw this tree we knew it could be in the top spot somewhere. It’s made it to county champion and it's one of many varieties of big or ancient trees which can be found at Croft.”

The team has also been working to restore parts of the Fishpool Valley wood back to an historic woodland pasture and uncovered an ancient Oak – now named the Candelabra Oak.

The tree – the second oldest recorded tree at Croft – has an 8.6m girth and forms the shape of a candelabrum.

Brian Muelaner, ancient tree advisor for the National Trust, said he estimates the tree to be at least 700 or 750 years old, based on its girth.

For more information about the parkland, visit nationaltrust.org.uk/croftcastle or contact the countryside team on 01568 780246 or croftcastle@nationaltrust.org.uk

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