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Praise for volunteers in pruning effort of Great Yew tree at Shugborough

By Thomas Parkes | Staffordshire | Attractions | Published:

It could be the largest yew tree in Europe – and it certainly takes a lot of work to prune it.

Volunteers take part in the annual prune of the Great Yew at National Trust's Shugborough Estate in Staffordshire. Photo: Jacob King/PA

Spanning across 575 foot, roughly the same size as the auditorium at the Royal Albert Hall, the Great Yew at Shugborough Estate is a sight to behold.

And it takes roughly two days of hard work to trim it back – with around 15 volunteers taking on the task to ensure it remains healthy.

The tree has become a well-known landmark at the estate, with experts recording it as the tree with the largest crown in Britain and Ireland.

Volunteers take part in the annual prune of the Great Yew at National Trust's Shugborough Estate in Staffordshire. Photo: Jacob King/PA

The Great Yew originally had a tunnel running through it – thought to be used as a den by former owner Patrick Lichfield and his sister Elizabeth.

The Lichfield family used to host garden parties and would raise extra money by charging an entrance fee to the location, which has since healed up.

The tree is now home to three of the many deer which roam the estate.

Volunteers taking part in the 'Great Yew' during the annual prune of the yew at the National Trust's Shugborough Estate in Staffordshire. Photo: Jacob King/PA Wire

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Jenni Holsey, visitor experience manager, said: "Our volunteers are really key to the success of the estate across a whole lot of departments – we have a strong volunteer force who are regular volunteers.

"Sometimes they'll be cleaning the river or harvesting, or pruning.

"The time and support they have given us is really special.

Volunteers take part in the annual prune of the Great Yew at National Trust's Shugborough Estate in Staffordshire. Photo: Jacob King/PA

"The National Trust has been running Shugborough since March 2017 so we've had a large number of volunteers, but they were there precious to that and certainly the numbers of people involved has grown."

Thomas Parkes

By Thomas Parkes
Senior Reporter - @TParkes_Star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star, based in Wolverhampton. Got a story? Get in touch at thomas.parkes@expressandstar.co.uk.

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