SCOTLAND is lagging badly in its bid to have an ancient oak named European Tree of the Year.

The tree in Perthshire under which one of Scotland's celebrated musicians Niel Gow would compose his fiddle tunes two centuries ago is in the running for the accolade but with voting due to close on Friday, it is lying in seventh place.

As of Thursday it was ahead of Wales, Ireland and Italy, but Bulgaria and Hungary have surged ahead.

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Rory Syme, from the Woodland Trust Scotland, said: "Niel Gow is known and loved internationally, and the oak is a living reminder of the legacy that he has left Scottish music.

"Clearly winning the competition would take a minor miracle, but I think it's still possible to catch up to Poland or even France."

At the start of February singer songwriter Dougie MacLean helped launch voting by playing Niel Gow's 'Farewell to Whisky' under the branches of the oak.