Special Eriskay spruce which was named ‘Tree of the Year’ is honoured at Scottish Parliament reception

Pictured are John Finnie MSP (reception host), Baby Danaidh Wilson, Eoina Wilson, Charles Dundas of Woodland Trust Scotland, Annemiek Hoogenboom of People's Postcode Lottery and Anne MacIntyre. Picture by Helen Pugh/WTML
Pictured are John Finnie MSP (reception host), Baby Danaidh Wilson, Eoina Wilson, Charles Dundas of Woodland Trust Scotland, Annemiek Hoogenboom of People's Postcode Lottery and Anne MacIntyre. Picture by Helen Pugh/WTML

The Eriskay spruce named Scotland’s Tree of the Year 2018 was honoured at a reception in the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday night.

Planted over 100 years ago by the poet, priest and land rights activist Father Allan McDonald, this spruce was until recently the only tree on the windswept island of Eriskay.

Anne MacIntyre with some local children enjoying Netty's Tree. Picture by John Mayer/WTML.

Anne MacIntyre with some local children enjoying Netty's Tree. Picture by John Mayer/WTML.

Netty MacDonald lived on the nearby croft and encouraged all the island’s children to play on the tree as their cries and laughter reminded her of her own family who had grown up and moved away to work.

Netty died aged 88 in 2010 but her daughter Anne is back on the croft and continues the tradition.

“Netty’s Tree” was nominated for the honour in the Woodland Trust competition by Eoina Wilson originally from Eriskay, who now lives in Inverness. It went on to triumph over five other trees in an online public vote.

Eoina, and Netty’s daughter Anne MacIntyre visited the Parliament to receive the trophy.

The tree also receives £1,000 thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, which can be spent on improving its condition, signage or a community celebration.