The voting is open - for tree of the year

Queen Mary's Tree

Queen Mary's Tree

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The referendum isn’t the only important voting exercise taking place in Scotland this week – and yes, no and undecided voters can all take part and support the local candidate.

Cumbernauld’s celebrated St Mary’s Tree is thought to have been planted by the unlucky Stuart monarch more than three centuries ago.

The true story is lost in time, but it seems Queen Mary was on a visit to Cumbernauld Castle, the home of lady in waiting Mary Fleming (one of the famous Four Maries) – and planted a sapling as a memento of her stay.

The castle was replaced by a grand mansion in the 18th century, but the tree was retained in pride of place, and is now one of just six from across the whole of Scotland to make the final running for the annual Tree of the Year contest, which is run by the Woodlands Trust.

It’s up against heavy arboreal competition, but local votes could deliver a winning result – in which case it will be entered in the European heat of the competition.

Adam Smith, chairman of Friends of Cumbernauld House Park, said: “We welcome any publicity which positively promotes the rich environmental heritage of Cumbernauld House Park.

“We’d encourage everyone to vote online on The Woodland Trust website and we hope this will allow us to ‘branch out’ and feature Queen Mary’s Tree in the European Tree of the Year competition in 2015”.

To support Cumbernauld’s candidate in the ultimate eco-friendly “election” visit www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/news/latest/scotland-toty-shortlist/