AN ISLE of Wight tree that inspired a local legend about a dragon terrorising villagers has been nominated for 'tree of the year.'

The Woodland's Trust has shortlisted the dragon tree, at Brighstone, in its annual tree of the year competition.

Fighting it out between oaks, a yew and a conifer, it is one of ten trees in contention for the title — and it needs your vote to win.

One massive limb of the might oak forms a bridge over the Buddle Brook, which used to power a nearby mill until it closed in the 1960s.

It is thought the dragon tree took its unique shape after it was blown down in a storm but, still supported by its existing branches, managed to re-root.

Local legend, however, suggests the tree was once a dragon that terrorised locals and a knight, recently returned from the Crusades, fought the beast. When he struck the fatal blow, the dragon turned to wood and laid down roots, becoming the mighty oak that now forms such an integral part of the local landscape.

The competition is designed to celebrate the best trees in the country.

Award-winning horticulturalist David Domoney said: "Trees are such an important part of our cities and countryside, not only for their beauty, but also for the health benefits they offer to all living creatures.

"Choosing the one tree that stands out from the rest is a hard decision, take a look for yourself."

To cast your vote, visit woodlandtrust.org.uk/treeoftheyear

Voting closes at noon on September 27.