So why is this tree a star?

I had a great day last week, travelling out to the Ceiriog Valley with Gerallt Pennant to put together a piece for the Heno programme on S4C about an oak tree next to the B4500. Over the last few months at least four media crews have visited this tree and it’s been discussed numerous times on the radio and in newspapers. In fact, it even has its own page on Facebook!

The Oak at the Gate of the Dead - Ian Logan

The Oak at the Gate of the Dead – Ian Logan

But, as Gerallt put to me, what is it about this tree that’s so important? The answer, of course, is that the Oak at the Gate of the Dead, as it’s called, has been chosen as the Welsh entry in the European Tree of the Year competition. The aim, as they say, is to find not the oldest, the tallest, the biggest, the most beautiful or the rarest of trees, but to identify the most lovable tree, a tree with a story that can bring the community together.

And this tree certainly has a good story to tell, standing as it does as the last living witness of the bloody battle of Crogen that took place on this very spot, where Offa’s Dyke crosses the Ceiriog Valley. It was back in 1165 that an invading English army under Henry ll marched into Wales up this valley and was ambushed by Welsh forces under Owain Gwynedd.

Since the sad loss of the Pontfadog Oak last year, just two miles further up the Ceiriog Valley, this is one of the largest and most iconic oaks we have in Wales. The Woodland Trust (Coed Cadw) has nominated the Oak at the Gate of the Dead as the Welsh entry in the European Tree of the Year competition. And later this year we will be running a competition to find the Welsh Tree of the Year, that will be entered into the European competition next year.

That decision will be made by you, the public, voting online and also at shows and events that the Trust will be attending in Wales this year, such as the Welsh Game Fair (14-15 June), The Royal Welsh (21-24 July) and the Eisteddfod (2-9 August).

We’re looking for nominations now, so if you can think of an iconic tree in your community that you think should be celebrated, then do email me at roryfrancis@woodlandtrust.org.uk or give me a ring on 08452 935 738.

But in the meantime, our Welsh entry needs all the support it can get in this year’s European Tree of the Year Competition. Voting is open until 28 February You have a vote, wherever you are, and making use of it is free. Will you vote to support our iconic Welsh tree at www.treeoftheyear.org ?

You should be able to see the item on the Oak at the Gate of Dead on S4C at 7pm on Tuesday 18 February. It’s in Welsh, but English subtitles are available.

                                                                                                               

Pam fod y goeden hon yn seren?

Cefais ddiwrnod gwych ddoe, yn teithio i Ddyffryn Ceiriog gyda Gerallt Pennant i lunio eitem ar gyfer rhaglen Heno ar S4C am hen dderwen sy’n sefyll wrth ochr y B4500. Dros y misoedd diwethaf mae o leiaf pedwar criw o’r cyfryngau wedi ymweld â’r goeden hon. Ac mae hi wedi cael ei thrafod nifer o weithiau ar y radio ac mewn papurau newydd. Ac yn wir, mae ganddi ei thudalen ei hun ar Weplyfr!

Ond , fel y gofynnodd Gerallt i mi ddoe, beth sydd mor bwysig am y goeden hon? Yr ateb, wrth gwrs, yw bod Derwen Adwy’r Meirwon, fel y mae’n cael ei galw, wedi cael ei dewis yng nghystadleuaeth Coeden Ewropeaidd y Flwyddyn. Y nod yw dod o hyd nid i’r goeden hynaf, talaf, mwyaf, harddaf neu brinnaf, ond i’r un mwyaf annwyl, coeden sydd â stori sy’n gallu dod â chymuned at ei gilydd.

A heb os, mae gan y goeden hon stori i’w hadrodd, gan mai hi yw tyst olaf brwydr waedlyd Crogen a ddigwyddodd yn yr union fan hon, lle mae Clawdd Offa yn croesi Dyffryn Ceiriog. Yn ôl yn 1165 roedd byddin o Saeson o dan Harri ll yn gorymdeithio i mewn i Gymru ar hyd y dyffryn hwn pan ymosodwyd arnyn nhw gan luoedd y Cymry o dan Owain Gwynedd.

Ers colled drist Derwen Pontfadog y llynedd, dim ond dwy filltir ymhellach i fyny Dyffryn Ceiriog, mae’r goeden hon yn un o’r coed derw mwyaf, a mwyaf eiconig sydd gennym yng Nghymru. Mae Coed Cadw (Woodland Trust) wedi enwebu Derwen Adwy’r Meirwon i gynrychioli Cymru yng nghystadleuaeth coeden Ewropeaidd y Flwyddyn. A nes ymlaen eleni byddwn yn cynnal cystadleuaeth i ddod o hyd i Goeden Gymreig y Flwyddyn, a gaiff ei henwebu i fod yn Goeden Ewropeaidd y Flwyddyn y flwyddyn nesaf.

Fe gewch chi, y cyhoedd, benderfynu pa goeden gaiff ei dewis, a hynny trwy bleidleisio arlein a hefyd mewn sioeau a digwyddiadau y bydd Coed yn eu mynychu yng Nghymru eleni, megis Gwyl Cefn Gwlad Cymru (14-15 Mehefin), Sioe Amaethyddol Frenhinol Cymru (21-24 Gorffennaf) a’r Eisteddfod (2-9 Awst).

Rydym yn chwilio am enwebiadau yn awr, felly os gallwch chi feddwl am goeden eiconig yn eich cymuned chi a ddylai gael ei dathlu, yn eich barn chi, yna danfonwch e-bost ataf i: roryfrancis@woodlandtrust.org.uk neu rhowch ganiad i fi ar 08452 935738.

Ond yn y cyfamser, mae’n coeden ni angen eich cefnogaeth yng nghystadleuaeth Coeden Ewropeaidd y Flwyddyn eleni. Mae modd pleidleisio tan 28 Chwefror. Mae gennych chi bleidlais, ble bynnag yr ydych chi’n byw ac mae bwrw’r bleidlais yn rhad ac am ddim. Felly, cofiwch bleidleisio iddi i’n coeden ni wrth wefan www.treeoftheyear.org

Fe fydd yna eitem am Dderwen Adwy’r Meirwon ar S4C am 7  Nos Fawrth 18 Chwefror. Cofiwch wylio!

Rory Francis, Communications Officer Wales

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About Kay Haw

Assistant Conservation Adviser, Woodland Trust. Nature is my passion, especially woods and trees which are just amazing elements of life. One day (soon) I hope we humans learn to work in harmony with Mother Earth.
This entry was posted in Conservation, Wales and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to So why is this tree a star?

  1. theresagreen says:

    Reblogged this on everyday nature trails and commented:
    I’ve just voted for this tree and found its story fascinating, so hope all Welsh readers at least will vote too!

  2. jpeggytaylor says:

    A wonderful ancient tree and truly a living monument. Our ancient trees really do deserve proper recognition of their place in the history of our communities and countries. We must continue to seek effective protection for them too.

  3. Derek West says:

    These ancient trees are a national treasure and deserve to be cherished and protected.

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