Tree climbers scale hair-raising, fund-raising heights


Simon (left) and Phil get ready to climb


Two former tree-surgeons took on an unusual challenge in a fund-raising effort recently (25 – 27 August) in a bid to raise over £2000 for Cancer Research UK.

Phil Dye, from Wotton, and Simon Penfold from Malmesbury, got on their motorbikes to travel between the three countries and tackle the three 60+ metre tall trees. All three of the trees are Douglas Firs.

Scotland’s tree –a 68m Coast Douglas Fir in the Laird’s Grove in Ardentinny – is thought to be Britain’s tallest tree and may be the tallest specimen of this species in Europe.

Fraser MacDonald, for the Forest Enterprise Scotland team in Cowal & Trossachs, which gave the permission to climb the tree, said;

“Our tree is in the region of the 68m mark and it’s currently Britain’s tallest tree. It’s also thought to be the tallest tree of this species in Europe.

“It’s never been climbed before and the guys very helpfully took a tape measure up with them to give us an accurate reading. They did it in about four hours…and they got us a measurement for our tree of 64m and 45cm.

“Hopefully the guys will exceed their target – it’s a very worthy cause and we were happy to give permission for them to try this climb.”

Funds raised will all be donated to Cancer Research UK to fight the disease which has affected family members of both Phil and Simon.

Anyone wishing to donate can do so at

Their progress can be followed on and at

(The measurement of 64.45m means that although the Scottish tree is the tallest of the three that Phil and Simon climbed, it is not the tallest tree in the UK)

Notes to editors

  1. Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government's Environment and Forestry Directorate.
  2. Forest Enterprise Scotland is an agency of the Forestry Commission and manages the National Forest Estate on behalf of Scottish Ministers.
  3. Tha Coimisean na Coilltearachd Alba na phàirt de Bhuidheann-Stiùiridh na h-Àrainneachd is Coilltearachd aig Riaghaltas na h-Alba. Tha e an urra ri riaghladh agus cumail maoineachadh is comhairle ri coilltearachd ann an Alba. Tha Iomairt Choilltean na h-Alba na fo-bhuidheann aig Coimisean na Coilltearachd Alba a tha a’ ruith Oighreachd na Coille Nàiseanta.
  4. Media enquiries to Paul Munro, Forestry Commission Scotland press office, 0300 067 6507 / 07785 527590 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.