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Survivor Tree, Carrifran Valley


Survivor Tree in running to be named European tree of the Year 2021

The Borders Forest Trust is calling on the public to vote for a remarkable Scottish rowan tree in the acclaimed European Tree of the Year 2021 competition.

Fi Martynoga with the Survivor Tree

Fi Martynoga, of the Carrifran Wildwood project, said: “This rowan tree is a very important symbol of our aspiration to see this valley completely rewooded and restored to its natural vegetation. Where this one tree stands, we would like to see a million grow.”

The Carrifran Wildwood project was started in 2000, when the first native Scottish trees were planted in the valley. It powerfully demonstrates the potential of landscape-scale ecological restoration in the UK.

Fi Martynoga with the Survivor Tree © Aiden Maccormick /

Carrifran Valley

The trees at Carrifran are now thriving, and beginning to reproduce themselves – creating natural regeneration in a rich and diverse habitat that supports a wealth of wildlife, while acting as a carbon sink to combat climate breakdown.

George Anderson of Woodland Trust Scotland said: “Carrifran Valley is an amazing, inspiring place to visit. The Survivor Tree is now surrounded by so many of its offspring and other trees. The trees are now at the age where they will attract lots and lots of bird species back into the landscape.”

The European Tree of the Year competition has been held for the past 11 years, and encourages the public to vote for the tree with the best story.

The Survivor Tree is one of 14 finalists for the prestigious accolade – and is the only tree representing the United Kingdom in the competition.

The Borders Forest Trust says that while the rowan tree may not be the largest or most majestic entry in the competition, it is a symbol of hope and of what can be achieved to tackle the world's nature and climate crises.

Voting takes place until the end of February. Click here to vote.

To find out more about the Borders Forest Trust, visit

The Survivor Tree grows in Carrifran Valley, near Moffat in the Scottish Borders, and has become an inspirational symbol of hope. The tree won the UK Tree of the Year competition in 2020.

Once a lone tree clinging to a stream bank in an otherwise barren landscape, this special rowan inspired a rewilding project that would see the valley and surrounding area being restored to its former ecological glory – with 700,000 trees planted so far, mainly by volunteers.

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