Champion tree found at Croft Castle, Leominster

Hereford Times: Croft ranger Jason Wood measuring the girth of the Douglas fir county champion tree. Croft ranger Jason Wood measuring the girth of the Douglas fir county champion tree.

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 carrying 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 stood a chance of being in the top spot somewhere.

“It’s made it to county champion and it is one of the 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 adviser for the National Trust, said he estimates the tree to be at least 700 to 750 years old.

n The National Trust is recruiting volunteers to help out at the Brockhampton Estate near Bromyard.

There are a range of roles available, from tour guides to photographers.

For more information, email karen.harper@ nationaltrust.org.uk or call 01885 482077.

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