City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Scottish Tree Huggers Still Hopeful of World Record


By edg - Posted on 11 December 2013

The famed wit, Samuel Johnson, once said in his travels in Scotland with friend James Boswell in the 1770s, that "A tree might be a show in Scotland as a horse in Venice."

Scotland's history of deforestation (only around 1% of the original Caledonian forest that once covered the land remains), perhaps helps explain why Scots take their trees so seriously, just recently coming very close to setting a new World Record for tree hugging.

On Sunday 1st December, huggers in ten locations across Scotland - including Edinburgh's Royal Botanic Garden - reached for the title of the World’s largest tree hug.

They didn't quite make the 1,000 mark that organisers had been looking for but, with a total of 931 huggers, the big tree hug-in handily beat the Forestry Commission England’s 702 tree huggers the official record currently cited by Guinness World Records.

Sadly, for those looking to scale the heights of tree-hugging glory, that total was just 20 huggers short of a World record claim still pending by the state of Oregon and further still from a reported 1,000-plus attempt by Pak-Kashmiri villagers near the Pakistan-Indian border.

The Scottish record attempt marked the end of National Tree Week in the UK, as well as the Year of Natural Scotland, and the launch of Scotland’s new Tree Trail.

The tree trail features examples of Scotland’s tree collections which have both national and international importance, brought together as the National Tree Collections of Scotland.

Meanwhile, Scottish tree hug organisers have been considering whether to submit a counter claim for that world record attempt, on the basis that Oregon’s attempt has not yet been officially recognised.

Commenting, Tom Christian, Project Officer for Scotland’s Tree Trail said:

“We’re delighted to have broken the official record but equally gutted that we’re just slightly short of the numbers Oregon are claiming they had. We are aware that Oregon had an online registration process for their attempt, and so there’s no guarantee that this accurately reflects how many tree huggers turned up on the day.

“We had a manual registration process at all sites so we are 100% confident that our figures are correct. In fact it is actually possible that our figures may as yet be higher and we have put out an appeal on social media that if anyone did take part, and they did not sign the register, to let us know as soon as possible.”