Monday 24 July 2017 11:30:35 PM

Vote For Old Holmer As Euro Tree Of The Year
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Old ‘Holmer’ makes public plea for votes in the European Tree of the Year

A tree in Northern Ireland, which has been nicknamed ‘The Holmer’, is in with a chance of winning the European Tree of the Year award in a voting competition which is seeing people from right across Europe vote for their favourite tree.

The stunning Holm Oak tree in Kilbroney Park, Rostrevor, County Down, is one of has been nominated by Alistair Livingstone of the Light 2000 community group to be in with the chance of winning the 2017 competition.

Gillian Fitzpatrick, Chairperson of Newry Mourne and Down District Council said: “The man who planted this tree planted hope for our future memories to be created, nurtured and loved forever more.  Trees are the best antiques and this tree is a magnet to all things bright and beautiful.”

Comedian Ardal O'Hanlon with Paul Clerkin, a local tree expert in Co Down, sitting up the 200-year-old Holm Oak tree.

Comedian Ardal O’Hanlon with Paul Clerkin, a local tree expert in Co Down, sitting up the 200-year-old Holm Oak tree.

Standing on the left, just inside the main Fairy Glen entrance to Kilbroney Park, this wonderful evergreen Holm Oak has been much loved by many generations of Rostrevor locals as well as Charles Dickens, CS Lewis and the young Princess Elizabeth who have all reportedly walked the ground where the Holm Oak is planted.

Eleanor McGillie, from the tourism cluster Live It Experience It, said”With voting open until February 28, we don’t have long left to vote for this mighty oak in Kilbroney Park which is one of our many fantastic playgrounds in Northern Ireland.

“The Holm Oak Tree has been described as the oak which bends but never breaks. It has a girth of 3.6 metres with a typical snakeskin bark. It is a distinctive oak because of the 45 degree angle at which it leans, making it easy for young children to climb.
“Currently over 3,300 votes have been cast but if we are to catch up with votes for other trees across Europe, the Northern Ireland public need to get behind the mighty Holm Oak.”
I

n a post on http://www.visitmournemountains.co.uk.  the old Holmer makes a public plea to the people of Northern Ireland. It reads:

I’m the 200-year-old leaning Holm Oak near the Fairy Glen in Rostrevor – now I need support. I’ve been loved by generations of local people. For decades artists, writers and musicians have been inspired under my evergreen leaves. Charles Dickens, CS Lewis and the young Princess Elizabeth have walked the ground I stand on. Hundreds of children have climbed my strong dragon-skin back or swung from my branches. We’ve all become friends. I hear your voices: you touch my spirit as I reach for the light.

Patrick Cregg, Director of the Woodland Trust, recently met with Light 2000 members during a recent visit to Rostrevor.
He said: “When I visited Kilbroney Park I was overwhelmed by this much loved oak, which guards the enchanting Fairy Glen entrance. I was equally taken with the beauty of the park as a whole, and by the enthusiasm of the LIGHT 2000 group. They’ve campaigned tirelessly and between them, have an absolute wealth of knowledge. We wish them well for the European competition.”

Tommy Sands, president of the Fiddlers Green International Music Festival, is lending his support for the bendy tree which is one of 16 trees entered into the competition.

He said: “My vote goes for the bendy tree that may be bent but not broken. It was for many years the tree that we gathered under during the Festival for children’s concerts and will be again.”

To vote for Holmer simply visit:

 http://www.visitmournemountains.co.uk/europeantreeoftheyear 

When you go to the voting page you will ask you to choose two trees to vote for (please make sure one of them is the Holm Oak, Rostrevor). You will then receive an email with a link for you to complete your vote (just to verify your email address works) so please click the emailed link to confirm your vote.