Peace Tree recognition in awards

Councillor Colin Pike nominated the Peace Tree at Dunnottar Church. Picture: Niall Benvie
Councillor Colin Pike nominated the Peace Tree at Dunnottar Church. Picture: Niall Benvie

An oak tree planted at Dunnottar Church in 1919 is runner-up in the Scotland’s Tree of the Year award.

The Peace Tree at the Stonehaven church was among six finalists chosen by an expert panel convened by Woodland Trust Scotland.

The winning tree was a lone elm in a remote location at Glen Affric.

Nominated by North Kincardine Councillor Colin Pike, one of Aberdeenshire Council’s Tree Champions, the Peace Tree was planted to mark the signing of the treaty ending WW1 and is officially recognised as a national war memorial.

A centenary service was held in July and attended by Freemasons from the Province of Kincardineshire, principally from the Lodge of Stonehaven No 65, along with guests from local churches and organisations.

The original spade used to plant the tree was on display and is kept in the Masonic Lodge.

Councillor Pike said the oak tree stood for everything the area could look for in terms of promoting tourism, biodiversity, history and a sense of pride, while always remembering those who gave so much in conflict a hundred years ago.

Commenting on the tree receiving strong local support and a £500 runner-up prize for ongoing maintenance, he added: “I see this as good news for everyone as it has highlighted some very significant trees and it has been fun taking part.

“I know that the custodians of the Peace Tree at Dunnottar will be very happy to receive the funding as it will enable them to continue their brilliant work.

Once hidden away by brambles, the tree has been returned to view in recent years and celebrated its 100th birthday by producing a good crop of acorns for the first time in many years.