Tree-mendous award for Rob

Rob McBride has been awarded an unsung hero award for this work in looking after ancient trees and the environment.

Rob McBride, the Tree Hunter from Ellesmere with Newtown's Black Poplar tree
Rob McBride, the Tree Hunter from Ellesmere with Newtown's Black Poplar tree

The founder of Treespect CIC a Not For Profit organisation based in his home town, Ellesmere, Mr Mcbride said the award, from to respected names in the world of arboriculture, meant a great deal.

It is given each year by Ted Green, MBE, founder of the ancient tree forum and Reg Harris, director of Urban Forestry.

In giving the award, a wooden platter, they said he was a highly motiviated, one man band, promoting and defending trees under threat.

They pointed to his work in helping to save the Brimmon Oak, an ancient oak tree that was to have been felled to make way for the Newtown bypass.

Working alongside the landowner and others he helped see the bypass diverted around the tree.

Mr McBride said he was delighted with the award.

"I first met Ted Green in November 2004 soon after my mental health breakdown. Hearing Ted speak about our very own 'European rain forest' here in Shropshire and the UK inspired me on to dedicate my life to trees and the environment. Shropshire Council's Conservation Officer, Shaun Burkey was instrumental in introducing me to Ted and trees also. He continues to inspire me to this day.

"Reg and Ted are both massively respected figures in the world of arboriculture, so this award means just so much to me to receive. This will drive me on in 2021 to promote and campaign for trees across the UK and Europe."

He said "Treespect" would soon be announcing an exciting tree based project for Ellesmere, in conjunction with the Co-op's Local Community Fund.

He also hopes to finish his Offa's Dyke project, logging ancient trees along the 177 mile, Offa's Dyke route from Prestatyn to Chepstow.

The project, which he thought would taken just a few weeks, has been ongoing since 2008, logging trees that have historic or cultural significance.

In recent years he has helped campaigners in Sheffield and also been involved in the annual European Tree of the Year award, travelling around Europe visiting as many of the trees shortlisted as he can.

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