Yew barking up wrong tree?

Comedian and broadcaster Fred MacAulay supports a new competition.     Pic by: ''Lenny Warren / Warren Media

Comedian and broadcaster Fred MacAulay supports a new competition. Pic by: ''Lenny Warren / Warren Media

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West Lothian people are being asked to take part in Tree of the Year – a new competition which has been organised by the Woodland Trust Scotland.

The competition is part of the European Tree of the Year 
contest and aims to find the nation’s best loved trees.

Virtually every community has at least one tree which stands out from the rest and has an amazing story to tell – and Linlithgow is no different.

Tom Conn, executive councillor for the environment, said: “Tree of the Year is a fantastic way to celebrate our natural heritage.

“West Lothian is blessed with thousands of amazing trees.

“The winner will be decided by an independent panel of judges; six trees will be shortlisted, based on their story and a public vote in September.”

Linlithgow’s own special tree has to be Katie Wearie’s Tree in West Port Garden.

The tree is a willow under which an old woman (some say a young woman) by the name of Katie Wearie would rest on her way to market each morning in the 19th century.

The original tree was planted to commemorate the Reform Act of 1832 but blew down in a storm in 1910. Itwas replaced with a sapling raised from the original.

This had to be felled in 1978 and was again replaced with another sapling – the grand-daughter of the original – in 1982 which has grown to form the current specimen.

West Lothian Council commissioned a life-size bronze sculpture of Katie Wearie which was unveiled in 2011.

The sculpture shows the cattle drover resting beneath a bronze tree, with a large bird perched in its branches.

The sculpture forms a sundial, where the passing hours are marked by the movement of the bird’s shadow on granite setts on the ground below.

A bench-seat forms part of the sculpture and encourages visitors to linger, longer.

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