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Is this Stratton Strawless Cedar the best tree in England?

Robert Marsham's cedar at Stratton Strawless. Photo credit: David Woodcock Photography

Robert Marsham's cedar at Stratton Strawless. Photo credit: David Woodcock Photography

David Woodcock Photography

An historic Stratton Stawless landmark is in with a chance to win a national prize.

Robert Marsham, Britain's first Phenologist who is thought to have planted the Stratton Strawless Cedar. Photo: Norfolk County CouncilRobert Marsham, Britain's first Phenologist who is thought to have planted the Stratton Strawless Cedar. Photo: Norfolk County Council

The village’s famous cedar, planted by the founding father of phenology, Robert Marsham, has been shortlisted for the Woodland Trusts’ Tree of the Year.

The tree is iconic for what is represents, as it is thought to have been planted in 1747 by Robert Marsham, Britain’s first phenologist who recorded his ‘Indications of Spring’ between 1736 and his death in 1797.

Marsham recorded these indications on his estate at Stratton Strawless throughout his life and is said to have been given two cypress trees by his friend and fellow landowner Jack Berney.

The tree was nominated by local resident Philip Edmonds, who said: “The pleasure of the Stratton Strawless Cedar is that I can glance at it as I drive along the A140 I think of Robert Marsham and his feeling that planting trees will always be profitable.

Stratton Strawless Church, Stratton Strawless
An exhibition about Robert Marsham who logged dates of spring events 300 years ago
The Cedar tree planted by Robert Marsham
For:EN
Copy:EN Rowan Mantell
Archant © 2007
(01603) 772434Stratton Strawless Church, Stratton Strawless An exhibition about Robert Marsham who logged dates of spring events 300 years ago The Cedar tree planted by Robert Marsham For:EN Copy:EN Rowan Mantell Archant © 2007 (01603) 772434

“I am also reminded of his correspondence with Gilbert White, then to Linnaeus and Norwich and so the pleasure of remembering reading or “meeting people” who have broadened my knowledge where I live.”

Should the cedar be crowned a champion by voters, as one of the four national winners from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland it could also be crowned European Tree of The Year.

Beccy Speight, Woodland Trust chief executive said: “Once again the public has nominated many fantastic trees with truly inspirational stories, which highlight how intrinsic they can become in peoples’ lives. It’s a reminder of why we need to care for individual trees and that they still need true protection in law from development or mismanagement.”

Supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, the shortlisted trees are also in with a chance of winning a £1,000 care award. The award can be used to arrange a health check from an arboriculturist, provide interpretation or educational materials or simply hold a celebratory event in honour of the tree.

To vote your favourite tree in the Tree of the Year contest visit the Trust’s website before October 9.

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