Tree spotting in Yorkshire

 Yorkshire can lay claim to being one of the UK’s richest and most diverse tree counties. Some of the best examples can be found at National Trust places around the region - whether they're the biggest, oldest or stars of the small screen. Here's some to look out for on your next visit.

    Brimham's photogenic rowan tree

    One of the most distinctive trees at Brimham Rocks is a rowan growing at a jaunty angle out of the 320 million year old rock formations known as Castle Rocks. Seek it out on your next visit for a great photo opportunity. 

    Beningbrough's amazing survivor

     Beningbrough Hall, Gallery and Gardens boasts at least four champion trees and some with historical significance too. One of our favourites, though, is this beautiful old oak. It bears an enormous scar from a lightning strike, but lived to tell the tale.

    Hardcastle Crags' TV star

    BBC series Death Comes To Pemberley was filmed on location at Hardcastle Crags, Fountains Abbey and Treasurer's House. Can you find this tree trunk carving which featured in the series?

    East Riddlesden's gentle giant

     East Riddlesden Hall is home to oak, walnut and lime trees, but it is an example of the latter that has become a focal point for visitors. Standing tall and proud in the centre of the wild garden, a bench has been built around it where people are encouraged to sit, take a step back from their hectic everyday lives and listen to nature.

    The cherry on top at Fountains Abbey

     The wild cherry could be the oldest of its kind. It’s unfortunately shed much of its crown, but is still a monstrous specimen. The cherry is currently trying to ‘layer,’ and if its lowest branch does make contact with the ground and puts down roots, then the tree could grow on for several more centuries.

    Fountains Abbey is home to many other ancient trees including some quirky oaks with windows cut into their hollow trunks. It’s not known when or why these were created, but the end result is enchanting.

    Fossilised trees at Marsden Moor

    After the last ice age 10,000 years ago, forests of pine, oak and birch covered this area. About 7,000 years ago the climate cooled and became wetter and the trees either died or were felled by man and peat began to form.

    It now covers much of Marsden Moor and in some places where it has degraded and eroded, the preserved remains of trees can still be found under the peat.

    Nunnington's wishing tree

     Visitors have created a wishing tree in the orchard by tying hundreds of coloured ribbons to a golden pippin apple tree. The practice of tying pieces of cloth to trees has long been associated with wishing. In Scotland and Ireland they are known as ‘Clootie Wells.’ In Cornwall wishing trees are traditionally linked to healing. As the cloth on the tree rotted with time, so your ailment would gradually heal. Visitors to Nunnington are encouraged to make wishes, with many returning year after year to perform the ritual.