A SHROPSHIRE-based tree hunter has appeared on a Czech breakfast show as part of his sel-funded tour to promote European and UK/Shropshire ancient trees.

Rob McBride, from Ellesmere, is on a 10 countries, self-funded, promotional tour of the 16 contestant trees, for the European Tree of the Year 2023. 

On Saturday, February 4, he appeared on Morning Breakfast TV in Prague, Czech Republic.

This year is the a first for Ukraine to participate in the competition. 

Rob said: "Sadly, their great Apple tree is only 20 miles from the Russian Border.

"Otherwise, I would have visited the Ukrainian tree if it was nearer the western border with Poland."


On the Czech TV Channel, they asked the hunter for his favourite tree, and he gave to the presenters a postcard of the 13-metre girth Lydham Oak near Bishop's Castle.

He added: "They were mightily impressed with, what is, one of the largest oak trees on the planet, which has a 42-feet circumference."

So far Rob has visited Oak Fabrykant in Lodz , Poland, which he said is "winning by miles currently". 

He went to Drasov, 60km south of Prague, to meet their hardy Pear tree.

Rob said: "This tree that survived the Russian Uranium mining era.

"The spoil heap 'mountain' coming within 20 miles 

"Political prisoners were forced labour in early 1950, many died of lung cancer."

Next, Rob will get the change to visit trees in Slovakia, Hungary, Portugal, Spain, Netherlands Belgium France, and finally the incredible Waverley Abbey Yew Tree near Farnham, UK.

Voting for the contest started on February 1 and lasts until until February 28.

The winner will then be announced March 21 in the EU Parliament, Brussels, where Rob will get to say a few words about his tree trip. 

People can vote their favourites on https://www.treeoftheyear.org/vote

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