Campaigners want change of HS2 route to protect award winning Cubbinton tree and ancient woodland

Cubbington's award-winning pear tree
Cubbington's award-winning pear tree

Cubbington’s ancient pear tree - which is set to be destroyed by the proposed HS2 rail line - has been named as the winner of the 2015 England’s Tree of the Year.

The result of a public on-line ballot organised by the Woodland Trust was announced on the BBC 1 TV Countryfile programme on Sunday November 8.

The wild pear tree, believed to be more than 250 years old, growing in an old hedgerow near South Cubbington Wood beat nine other noteworthy trees to claim the title.

Peter Delow, chairman of the Cubbington Action Group against HS2, which nominated the pear tree, said: “It is most heartening that so many people care about the protection of our natural environment and agree with me that the loss of this tree is just not acceptable, particularly as it could be avoided by changing the design of HS2.

A feasible proposal has been made to tunnel under the tree, which would also protect the ancient woodland of South Cubbington Wood – an irreplaceable habitat that will also be destroyed, in part, by HS2.

“I hope that the crowning of the Cubbington tree will allow us to remind the Government of the obligation that it owes to our natural environment, and am very grateful to those who have given us this opportunity by voting for the Cubbington tree.”